September 13, 2022

AR compatibility: Everything you need to know about it

Ensuring AR compatibility is mandatory for businesses looking to integrate 3D and AR technology on their web pages so that customers can have inclusive and immersive customer experiences

Key takeaways:  

  • Retail and e-commerce businesses need to check AR compatibility before implementing AR on their webpages
  • AR compatible devices can create immersive customer experiences through motion tracking, environmental understanding and light estimation technology
  • Retail and e-commerce businesses must provide inclusive immersive 3D experiences to boost customer satisfaction

Immersive customer experiences have been around since 2018, and their popularity has only skyrocketed since the pandemic. While virtual experiences were a way to offer customers unique, personalized customer experiences previously, they are now an integral part of shopping online, thanks to the shift to online shopping experiences after the pandemic.

A survey by Harris Poll even revealed that 66% of shoppers surveyed believed that purchase experience coupled with 3D and augmented reality (AR) technology would enable them to make more confident buying decisions. Research from ThreeKit also suggests that two-thirds of shoppers prefer this.

Going by the Business Futures report, the wave of immersive customer experiences has only begun. After all, 88% of C-suite executives at consumer goods and retail companies are already investing in them. If companies want to ride the immersive customer experience wave, they need to get started now. And the first step is understanding the AR compatibility constraints while creating customer experiences.

88% of C-suite executives at consumer goods and retail companies are already investing in immersive customer experiences

What makes devices AR compatible?

Devices equipped with ARCore or ARKit technology are inherently AR compatible. They should all have motion tracking, environmental understanding and light estimation capabilities

Unlike VR, which needs elaborate hardware to work well, AR does not require hardware. Companies can create immersive AR customer journeys using simple web-based, app-free, and hands-free solutions like Enhance. This makes immersive customer journeys accessible for customers.

However, customer devices need to be AR compatible to experience immersive AR customer journeys.

To be AR compatible, any customer device needs three capabilities:

  • Motion tracking
  • Environmental understanding
  • Light estimation

And devices compatible with technology like ARCore and ARKit are equipped with all three. 

What is ARCore and ARKit?

ARCore is Google’s platform that allows users to create immersive AR. ARKit is Apple’s platform that allows users to create immersive AR

In simple terms, ARKit is a development platform by Apple that enables users to create augmented reality experiences. It allows people using native Apple devices to view objects in a real-world environment through its QuickLook Application.

Similar to ARKit, ARCore is a development platform made by Google to create AR experiences. But unlike Apple’s ARKit it allows users to create immersive environments compatible with iOS, Android and various game engine environments through the platform.

How do ARCore and ARKit compatible devices work?

AR compatible devices use motion tracking, environmental understanding and light estimation to generate immersive experiences

Let us take a look at how ARCore and ARKit compatible devices work to facilitate AR customer experiences.

Suppose a company has an AR object placed on its product page for customer interactions. When a customer clicks on the product using an AR-supported device, the ARCore or ARKit technology first uses motion tracking to detect feature points. This is when customers typically see instructions on positioning their phones to get the AR experience. Next, the technology detects flat surfaces in the real world so that it can align the 3D or AR object to a particular plane. This process takes place through Environment Understanding. Lastly, the technology calculates the light intensity of the real-world scene and alters the lighting of the virtual object to create a realistic projection.

How to know if a device is AR compatible?

Find the complete list of AR compatible devices below

Checking if your AR device supports AR compatibility is easy. All you need to do is follow these steps:

  • Search for a list of AR supported devices online.
  • Alternatively, visit Google’s Support Page for AR and type in the name of your phone in the search bar.

AR compatible devices

Apple devices running iOS 11 or higher are natively compatible with AR applications.

Devices that support applications made on ARCore typically have AR compatibility. You can find the entire list of these devices for 2022 here. Keep in mind that Apple devices running iOS 11 or higher are natively compatible with AR applications.

How can customers interact with AR objects through their AR compatible devices?

Customers can interact with AR objects through apps or web applications

How customers interact with AR objects depends on how companies develop AR objects. If companies enable viewing AR objects only on AR apps they create, like IKEA, customers need to go the extra mile of downloading the app for an immersive experience. This could hamper the overall customer buying experience.

In contrast, if companies iterate AR objects on the web page and allow mobile devices to view them through a web application like Enhance, customers can enjoy a seamless purchasing experience.

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