Augmented Reality is gradually making their way into the mainstream media. It is becoming an important tool to be utilised for a variety of purposes whether it is marketing, entertainment, or even awareness. And now we are in times when it is in the next phase of its evolution and getting more and more decentralized i.e., the user is creating their own AR experience.
The technology is being made available to anyone to explore it and create their own experience.
There are different platforms involved in this such as Spark AR and WebAR. Here, anyone can create their own AR experience and share it with everyone. These AR experiences are created by the users for the users. Moreover, anyone can access AR through smartphones and do not need any fancy expensive device for it.
In this blog, we would be discussing these two platforms, seeing how they are bringing AR closer to people and more importantly how they compare with each other.
What is Spark AR?
Spark AR is a tool through which the users can create their own AR effects. It was launched in 2017 and since then it is being continuously updated and enhanced. The idea is to make AR development easier for general users who have little technical know-how on it. This tool is just like the graphics editing tools like Sketch, Photoshop etc., the only difference is that it is AR.
To talk about its functioning, Spark offers you a suite of tools to create an AR experience for mobile phones. You can do it with or without utilizing codes as well as import your own 3D and audio files as per your own choice and preferences. Thus, you can insert a 3D object from outside into a Spark AR project and manipulate it by addition logic, animation and interactivity. Additionally, it also has its own range of off-the-shelf 3D objects that the creator can utilize directly from the AR library.
With the help of Spark AR, you can create face-filters, AR games and other experiences that can engage your audience in much better way. Moreover, the best part is the detailed analytics that Spark offers to its creators. They check the number of impressions, captures as well as the number of times the AR experience has been shared among the social media community.
Thus, Spark AR is definitely one of the amazing tools in the hands of creators. It has made AR development accessible to all and plays a big role in popularising it on social media.
What is WebAR?
Mobile-based Augmented Reality experiences are increasingly becoming popular with each passing day. The trend has been on an upward trajectory for the past few years. In fact as per the data, the interaction resulting from AR leads to 80 per cent higher retention in the user’s mind. That is why many organizations are using their marketing strategy to bring an amazing and engaging experience closer to the user.
However, there has always been a hurdle that stopped many on the verge of getting into the experience. The users have to first download an app and access the AR experience through that app only. And here the bouncing rate of the users increased exponentially. This is where the WebAR comes into pictures.
WebAR or web-based Augmented Reality allows the AR developers to share the AR experiences over the internet without the need for any app. Thus, the user has to just tap on the link or scan a QR code by pointing their mobile camera lens towards it and they can enjoy the amazing experience.
For this, the experience provider does not need a third party such as the social media platforms, to share their AR with the target audience and they can use their own website to do so. This also enhances the traffic on the website and increases user engagement with the brand.
Moreover, just like Spark AR, WebAR is also capable to offer a host of different tracking and analytics that includes engagements and time on the AR experience page, duration of a user’s interaction with the product, the choices the user opted for try-on, in fact, the AR technology can measure the size of the user and use it for future reference.
Just like Spark AR, WebAR is also contributing to the reach and popularity of AR technology. Now, to add more to your perspective the following is the comparison between the two platforms.
Spark AR vs WebAR
Both of these platforms offer various benefits that AR technology can offer, however, there are some differences in their usability.
Spark AR has a very limited reach and is mainly used by Creators or Influencers who want to expand their reach on Social Media. Spark AR helps the creator incentivize users to engage with their brand on Social Media. Thus, it helps these creators in increasing the number of their followers on that particular platform. And that is precisely why the target audience for the Spark AR is limited to social media platforms.
While on the other hand, the target audience for WebAR can be almost unlimited and goes way beyond the typical social media platform. It can be accessed by anyone with the QR code or the URL to the web page having the experience.
In fact, that is why WebAR is the first choice of advertiser and marketer when it comes to enhancing user engagement. For example, a brand can promote its wearables through tryons wherein the potential customer can try their choice of clothes virtually and see if they like it or not. Here, they don’t need to download any app, the advertisers have to just provide the link and the user can check by themselves.
These kinds of product engagements go a long way towards improving buyers confidence and thereby boosting sales.
Apart from, social media platforms, WebAR also enfolds other platforms in its ambit such as print, web stores, product packaging, websites etc. And there are multiple ways of sharing the WebAR experience with the customer such as mail postcards with AR QR codes, inserting AR features on the product page or any blog talking about the product or sharing the link through social media ads.
Range of Feature
When it comes to offering features, Spark AR provides options that are based on and limited to social media platforms like filters and tryons while WebAR has a huge range of features such as AR teleportation, training, product demonstration, product awareness and many more.
AR training allows organizations to conduct AR-based training programs for their employees. This allows them to offer an engaging and immersive learning experience to their trainees as they can see the concept materializing virtually in front of them. Plus, they can learn at their convenience and preferences.
Another AR feature is that of Teleportation. A person would be able to explore a different location while being physically present in a different location. What is to be done is just to scan a QR code and the person can see and interact with another location through the AR device.
WebAR can be a wonderful tool when it comes to upping the ante in the marketing strategies of the organization. And the main reason for this is the ability of WebAR to offer an experience without requiring the user to follow too many steps. Thus, the user does not need to download an app, fill in the details, validate those details, sign in etc. and just start it right away by tapping in the link or scanning the QR code.
For example, recently with the Vossle platform, we ran a marketing campaign for Emirates NBD, a government-owned bank based in Dubai and one of the largest banking groups in the Middle East. The campaign was to offer an AR experience to the target audience with the aim of celebrating the Chinese New Year. The user could access the experience through Face scanning and get it virtually painted by a 3D tiger tattoo.
This was an example that shows how WebAR offer a great advantage for elevating brand recognition, augmenting sales and increasing the audience base.
Not only this but WebAR can also be used for showing product demos, sharing the history of the organization, production process and whatnot. In fact, the possibilities are unlimited and totally depend upon you how you want to use the tool of WebAR.
Comparison chart between Spark AR & WebAR
|Browser Compatibility||Not Supported||Supported by all major browsers|
|Device Compatibility||Unknown||Compatible with most modern smartphones but depends upon the library|
|Image recognition||One target per experience||Library dependent|
|Experiential Consistency||Consistent||Varies with device, browser and screen size|
|Software Development Kit (3rd Party)||Non-available||Available|
|Video Recording||Limited||Possible (using 3rd party application)|
|APIs||Interaction limited or not allowed||Interactions allowed|
|Input||Limited acceptability||Any data is accepted|
|Hosting||Required for larger files||Required for all file|
Which AR is best for you?
Spark AR is an easy to use platform where you can create an experience for a social media audience. It can be used to offer them a tryon of a product like sunglasses, lipstick, etc or you can create an experience to engage the audience with your brands in any way you want. However, the users of this experience would be limited to the platform. Thus, it is more for promoting your brand on social media and channel traffic to your website.
On the other hand, Web AR offers all the services of Spark AR along with additional features like AR Teleportation, AR training, etc. It can be used to target users across the platform like print media, digital media etc and make your own website the launching pad for your experience.
Thus, it totally boils down to the goals you want to achieve.
How to create your own AR experience on Vossle
At Queppelin we have taken it a step ahead, we developed Vossle, using our platform now you create your own WebAR experience without writing even a single line of code. All you have to do is upload your assets in the required format and the experience would be ready in minutes.
In a way, Vossle brings the best of both worlds to you. Here, you don’t have to be a coding expert to create your experience, you can share the QR Code or Link generated by Vossle. All you have to do is head over to Vossle platform and sign up today.