Company-X is offering clients augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) software development capability with the end results delivered to users through web browsers.

Company-X co-founder and director David Hallett described the WebAR and WebVR technology as “one cool area” that the software specialist works in.

“Traditionally AR and VR ran inside platforms or devices,” Hallett said.

AR and VR hardware could be prohibitively expensive.

“Whereas with these standards of WebAR and WebVR the cool thing is that you can effectively deliver some technology into a web browser.”

WebAR technology puts AR before the eyes of anyone with an internet-capable device with a web browser. WebAR works on desktop or laptop computers as well as smartphones and tablets.

WebVR delivers a 360-degree virtual environment via the web browser or a fully immersive experience through a headset.

“Rather than having to build a native app for a system, you can build a web-delivered AR solution,” Hallett said.

“It’s all delivered by the web, so you don’t have to go and install any software on these devices.”

The technology is device and browser agnostic, so works on web browsers running on hardware with Apple, Google Android, Linux and Microsoft operating systems.

“So you don’t have to invest in specific bits of kit or hardware.”

WEB BASED AUGMENTED REALITY Company X augmented reality specialist Lance Bauerfeind demonstrates how Web AR can be used to overlay a AR model of a new bath over the old bath on his smartphone
WEB BASED AUGMENTED REALITY: Company-X augmented reality specialist Lance Bauerfeind demonstrates how WebAR can be used to overlay a AR model of a new bath over the old bath on his smartphone.

WebAR use cases

WebAR can be used to market goods and services to customers.

WebAR enables prospective customers to try virtual models of everything from a new pair of glasses to the configuration of a home extension. It’s about giving them informed choices.

“The cool part about WebAR is that it means I don’t have to have a piece of software installed to run around my house and visualise new products within it,” said Company-X co-founder and director Jeremy Hughes.

“Take your new glasses,” Hallett said. “You can just use WebAR on your smartphone’s web browser to try on different pairs. You can decide whether you like the glasses, or if the frames need to be blacker. You can magically cycle through your glasses.

“Say you want to fit your house out. You can use a tablet running a WebAR component to go around the house and try out AR models of new things in your home.”

A furniture retailer would offer AR versions of its beds, bookcases, chairs, desks, sofas and tables for customers to try virtually in their homes by overlaying them on a live feed from the device’s camera before they buy.

“WebAR helps us decide if that mirror looks good up there on the wall, or whether we could put an Ottoman in front of that sofa to see if it will fit.”

For the supplier of bathroom suites, WebAR would let customers try virtual baths,

showers, sinks and toilets in their bathrooms, tweaking the tapware with each option that they tried.

WebAR is also a great tool for visualising home extensions and other improvements.

“We can build a garage or carport using WebAR and answer whether it would look good with this sort of guttering or that sort,” Hughes added.