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WebAR v App-based AR: All you Need to Know

July 29, 2022

🗣 Augmented reality (AR) allows us to see the real world in front of us with a digital augmentation laid over it. For example, web AR technology can place a digital sofa in your room, a painting on your wall, or an interactive, multi-player game on your table.

Despite its past wrap for consumer experiences, AR has many applications beyond gimmicky entertainment. Businesses use it to enhance virtual shopping, training, navigation, modeling, gaming, and even equipment maintenance and repair.

There are two primary ways for people to experience AR. One is application-based AR, and the other is web-based augmented reality. While app-based AR does allow for a wider range of features, WebAR is much more accessible and user-friendly, making it a more effective choice. Read on to learn more about the differences between both!

What Is Native AR Application?

🗣 In business terms, Native AR apps are the ones that are packaged and deployed in relevant app stores for distribution, so users must download the application and start using it. AR apps are Augmented Reality programs written specifically for a platform such as Android or iPhone and require custom software development

In technical terms, native apps run directly on the relevant operating system of the device. Android and iOS provide ARCore and ARKit frameworks to execute AR apps on their respective operating systems. Because of that, native AR applications will have better control over device hardware, which enables them to give better performance.

👉 ARKit is Apple’s augmented reality computer vision platform, which developers utilize to build iOS-exclusive applications. It shares several ARCore’s significant capabilities, including light estimation, picture tracking, and motion capture.

👉 ARCore is Google’s framework for developing augmented reality applications. Its primary advantage over ARKit is its portability since it enables both Android and iOS development. More importantly, you can use it at no cost at any time.

Additionally, the inclusion of a LiDAR scanner in the latest iPhone series expands the possibility of online augmented reality. The new LiDAR Scanner enables quick plane recognition, allowing direct augmented reality items in the actual environment. Without scanning the full scene, this method results in a more responsive augmented reality experience

Pros of Native AR

Performance: AR features in an application are mostly resource-intensive for any device platform, and they require a substantial amount of memory for proper operation.

AR is primarily concerned with displaying 3D objects and their animations over a real-world environment, which necessitates a sufficient amount of RAM size and execution speed to provide a presentable and pleasing performance free of glitches.

Rendering: Native applications run on the operating system, because of which they will have direct access to the Graphics Processing Unit, or GPU, in short. The GPU is responsible for drawing graphical elements on the screen.

Platform-Specific Features: AR applications will use device-oriented platform-specific features like cameras, gyroscopes, plane tracking, acceleration, and orientation. Native apps, which are installed on operating systems, will have better control over these features.

What Is WebAR?

🗣 Augmented Reality is the enrichment of the perception of the context around us with digital data, created by technologies that allow the overlay of contents seen as part of the environment in which the subject finds itself. In order to make this concept true, we usually need to download a specific app on our device and see the magic happen. WebAR breaks off from the tied-in-a-app definition, bringing Augmented Reality to the internet browser, freeing developers from the management of the apps and stores, and allowing users to have access more easily and more rapidly to immersive experiences.

The r-evolution of WebAR happens exactly when the virtual object needs to be put into the environment: no special software or app is needed, only a smartphone or tablet and its camera, and an internet connection of course. Indeed, in order to have a positive result, the camera of the device plays the most important role. Through it, the environment is scanned, and analyzed and data is transferred from the camera to the Web version.

Why web AR? The pros

🗣 Immediacy, easiness, and ready-to-usability are central aspects in the innovation of Web AR that cannot be undervalued by agencies and companies whose aim is to compel the client through new innovative ways. For agencies, Web AR might definitely represent a new level of marketing and appeal to new followers and clients, giving to users a brand-new type of client experience.

No app installation: Since WebAR content resides on a web browser like a webpage, users don’t have to download an app from the app store to experience AR.

Compatible with most browsers: WebAR works with the browsers that people already have and use, which makes it much more accessible than downloaded apps and the cross-browser compatibility of WebAR also makes it much simpler to develop. You create the experience once and it runs the same on any browser or operating system gone are the days of having to write a completely different app for each platform you want to support

Easy Analytics Integration: Since the WebAR content resides on the web page, it is easy to collect user behavior analytics based on click events. WebAR analytics offers the information so you can assess how people respond to your marketing efforts. In addition to measuring how many likes or shares your WebAR projects garner, it also offers more detailed data including dwell time (how long people engage in the experience) and spatial analytics (which areas of a scene people use).

Faster to launch and Ease to Deploy: Web Technologies has the power and flexibility to launch and update features in a short time, similarly to WebAR, which relies on web technology standards like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript for development, so there is no need for dependency on core platforms.

Low cost and low maintenance: WebAR is much more affordable to produce than custom AR apps, and also much easier to maintain. Compared to the demanding process to write and maintain AR apps, WebAR is more like running a website… the tools are there to make this fairly straightforward and manageable.

 👉 In short, both options have their good qualities depending on what you are looking for and what use you intend to give them! Anyways, it’s clear that Augmented Reality is helping businesses thrive and revolutionize cross-over industries. What are you waiting to hop on the AR train?

If you are interested, check out here the solutions we at CaptivatAR must help you achieve your company’s goals!

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