webAR #1: What is web AR?
You turn on Instagram, fire up the camera and view yourself in a mirror of animated filters. In a cowboy hat, with hare's ears, in a Batman mask, twenty years later, twenty kilos less... Discover webAR!
Let's say we launch a new radler-beer. It's a blend of natural mango, lime and lemongrass flavors. Plus the light bitterness of a pale ale brewed with organically grown barley and hops. All encased in a dark green bottle. Place it now in the camera lens of your smartphone. In the background is a sun-drenched city, where you are just enjoying a cold drink. What do you see?
The green bottle comes to life. A hop vine creeps upward along the glass. When it reaches the neck, the cap bursts open and a geyser of crystal clear water escapes from inside. At this moment, the pleasant sensation of refreshment reaches you with entirely new senses.
Meanwhile, trees are sprouting by the tenement you observe in the background of the bottle. You see them blooming and fruiting with a dozen ripe mangoes and juicy limes. It is from there that a colorful bird flies out in a moment to perch on the neck of the bottle and wave its light wings flirtatiously. Now you recognize him! Yes, it's his outline that adorns the label of the radler you're about to taste.
Augmented reality (augmented reality or AR for short) is the world added to the existing one. So you can virtually transform and beautify what actually exists. Change colors and shapes, add effects, bring still life to life. So while previously the brand world was a collection of images glued to the product and encoded in the consumer's memory, now it can be evoked instantly. All you have to do is point the camera, installed in every smartphone, at the physical product. Though not just on the product...
The webAR engine we built is based on artificial intelligence, which we teach to look for markers in the image. When they are detected, the system plays a predetermined effect and adds it to the view in real time. In this way, what actually exists merges on the smartphone screen with the unreal.
The marker can be an established word (e.g., your brand name), a graphic shape (e.g., a logo), clothing (e.g., a t-shirt) or a color (e.g., purple). In the example described above with the radler, the role of the marker was a green bottle. When the system recognized it in the image, it triggered an animation with a geyser, fruiting trees and a bird. However, there are many more possibilities...
The web AR engine detects a marker, which can be a graphic, text or colour. It can then replace any of these - freely, according to your choice - with an animation, a 3D object, a simple graphic, a video or an animation.
How web AR have been used by Coca-Cola, McDonald's, Sony Pictures and Porsche? Everything you need to know about web AR in one place – meet the Martech Pill.