Augmented Reality (AR) is a technology that allows people to use digital content in real life. AR is implemented by rendering digital files onto real-world objects (typically by using a mobile device or a virtual reality headset). AR significantly enhances our daily experiences with mobile devices. It overlays graphics onto real-world environments, which is why it provides an enhanced user experience. It can also be used in a vast variety of applications. A user could, for instance, place a digital bed in their bedroom before purchasing it to see how good it looks.
Our client Vintoz, a vintage movie poster brand, has embedded virtual versions of some of their most popular posters onto their e-commerce store. Using a simple tab on their smartphone, potential customers can select a poster and place it on their wall. In this way they can instantly experience how much space the poster will take up, and see how it fits with the look and feel of their apartment or business venue.
Embedding models of the posters on their website encourages user engagement and product interaction. Objects are represented in 3D and they appear almost touchable. A potential customer can zoom in and out to see what a product feels like, and they can move it around to find an optimal location for it. Important details like the surface texture of an object can be experienced in a highly realistic way.
Embedding 3D solutions on an e-commerce website can also help boost conversion rates and revenue. In this blog post we share how a multinational retailer enhanced online shopping experiences using Augmented Reality (AR). One potential concern when implementing AR on e-commerce stores is a potentially negative impact on page load speed. While it is true that every additional kilobyte impacts the time it takes to fully load a website, state-of-the-art cloud-based hosting solutions that deploy size-optimised 3D files via CDNs reduce the detrimental impact on page load speed to a minimum. At Impala Services, we have conducted an in-depth study on this topic. Our research shows that by using an effective hosting solution and web optimised 3D files, complex pages can load in around 2.2 seconds, which is up to 30% faster than using non-size-optimised files and slower hosting solutions. As a result, more brands are opting to embed 3D solutions on their websites.
Digital assets also bring about additional benefits. Brands that make large and bulky products often struggle building prototypes and orchestrating product photoshoots. Accordingly, many furniture brands have turned to Computer-Generated Imagery (CGI) and 3D. The Swedish furniture giant Ikea is a trailblazer when it comes to 3D applications. In addition to using CGI images, Ikea is now also leveraging a virtual influencer to promote its Scandinavian-inspired furniture.
The reasons are simple: creating prototypes for each product variant is costly and time consuming. With 3D models on the other hand, design, prototypes, high-quality visualisations, and even marketing collateral and product photos can be produced rapidly and cost-effectively.