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8 Jul 2019

Now All Phones Support Augmented Reality - Why That’s a BIG Deal

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Here at CGTrader, we know that our 3D models are commissioned, downloaded and purchased for dozens of different uses – everything from games and animation to e-Commerce and driving simulators.

Naturally, each product/technology scenario leverages its own hardware paradigm. Until now, this branch has been a challenge for Augmented Reality application developers because native AR was only available for iOS. Apple’s AR Quick Look, which launched with iOS 12 at the end of last year, makes it easy to view AR-ready models within Safari – instant gratification, without relying on extra user-installed apps. Prior to AR Quick Look, ARKit (originally introduced in iOS 11 a year before) required users like gamers or shoppers to download and install add-on software before getting to experience 3D. You can imagine what that did to adoption rates.

This new iOS capability was game-changing for iPhone users, but Android was a step behind. And this gap meant that an e-Commerce site could never be truly cross-platform and, thereby, instantly accessible.

But as of early May 2019, the problem has vanished. At its recent I/O conference, Google announced web-native AR for Android as well. Like Apple’s ARKit, Android devices have used a core technology called ARCore for a little over a year now. With the addition last month of Scene Viewer in ARCore 1.9, websites now offer the same instantly fully immersive user experience.

What this means for e-Commerce

This development is not simply a new feature in the Apple-Google catch-up game; it’s truly a case of the whole representing a lot more than the sum of its parts. The two primary mobile platforms in the industry reaching this milestone opens up a universal, consistent, and ubiquitous immersive experience with no barrier to entry for either platform’s user. Even better, Google is launching AR into search results, which are naturally cross-platform as well. Looking for a pair of boots? A new couch? An indoor plant? No matter what mobile device you deploy for that Google search, you can rotate the objects instantly, right there on the Google search screen, even before clicking through to the site. You can even superimpose that couch right into your living room, in real time.

Now All Phones Support Augmented Reality - Why That’s a BIG Deal  1

We’re especially excited about this development because it validates our company’s raison d'être: to create 3D models that work for everyone, no matter the sector, purpose or platform. All assets created by CGTrader are fully optimized for both Apple AR Quick Look and Google ARCore Scene Viewer. All models we create for enterprise clients are delivered in glTF and USDZ formats by default (other formats available on request). These two 3D formats are considered AR/VR "superformats" - standards essential to companies creating AR/VR experiences.

We are seeing a surge of small, medium and large e-tailers ready to effortlessly convert their catalogs; to that end, we recently-launched CGTrader ARsenal, our complete, easy to deploy Augmented Reality solution for eCommerce. Combined with this complete mobile-device compatibility, CGTrader ARsenal helps retailers and brands meet new customer expectations, and drive increased and faster sales with a shopping experience imbued with an entirely new level of confidence for their customers.

To check if your phone is AR compatible, simply open our Enterprise page and view one of the 3D models in AR.