Introducing WebAR with Image Recognition and SLAM & integrating it into Blippbuilder

We are delighted to announce the launch of new web based augmented reality solution – WebAR, which uses image recognition and SLAM technology. We will be integrating the technology into our AR creation and publishing platform, Blippbuilder, so anyone can simply create and distribute webAR whether or not they know how to code.

In 2017, we launched the industry’s first Augmented Reality rich media ad format called Augmented Reality Digital Placement which enabled brands and agencies to engage consumers with AR display ads already without the need to download an app. These AR experiences were quite limited in terms of functionality and only allowed for AR experiences which were pre-loaded.

We are now taking the technology a significant step further by integrating image recognition and SLAM technology to enable rich augmented reality rendering within the web browser (webAR), which was previously only possible on native apps. WebAR leverages a user’s smartphone and desktop camera to bring brand experiences to life without the need for a separate app, simply by clicking on a web link or scanning a QR code.

AR creators can now offer users rich AR experiences on the web. The majority of webAR examples seen to date have been restricted to using a thick black border but this version of Blippar’s technology makes it marker-less, allowing AR creators to produce even better and richer surface tracking experiences.

The webAR experiences are applicable to every industry interested in AR, including education, automotive, entertainment, retail and consumer-packaged goods. The technology enables any educator, advertiser, brand, agency, or digital publisher to deliver and scale interactive, contextually-relevant AR consumer experiences directly from a web link (URL).

Some of the key features of WebAR:

  • WebAR technology is still in its “infancy” and therefore the experiences are currently constructed to be lighter and less complex
  • Experiences can be initiated (triggered) using ‘Gyro’ (a floating 360 content experience), ‘Image recognition’ (triggering AR content from any print, product and image medium), ‘SLAM’ (triggering AR content from an arbitrary surface and location) or ‘Object recognition’ (triggering AR content from everyday physical objects).
  • Can achieve very realistic looking textures in the AR experiences
  • Relies on server-side network requests in order to use computer vision APIs for object recognition
  • To start the webAR journey the user needs to open a URL link or scan a QR code
  • WebAR can be distributed via newsletter, social media, comments, anecdotes - all formats that support the web and has a camera.
  • Requires an internet connection all times to experience it
  • Build times can be fast but this is all based on the complexity of the experience
  • Can be distributed independently and even made decentralized

Blippbuilder will support webAR and this will be live on the platform by the end of July 2019, meaning that anyone can easily create webAR content themselves using the Blippbuilder platform whether they know how to code or not. Blippar started building the foundation for this technology a few years ago, as seen through its AR creation tools, which enable brands, educators and individuals to create and publish their own AR experiences even if they don't have any coding experience.

Introducing WebAR with Image Recognition and SLAM & integrating it into Blippbuilder

Ambarish Mitra, Founder of Blippar, says “I am very proud of the team for continuing to push the boundaries of AR so we can keep offering better tools and products that empower others to seamlessly create the best experiences possible. Taking AR beyond apps creates an easy distribution channel as the web is still predominant and solves one of the biggest barriers to AR adoption which has been the need to download a separate app to view the content. Once webAR is open to all consumers and developers, the possibilities become endless.

“We are extremely grateful for the overwhelming support since December from our clients, partners, investors and everyone in the ecosystem and we are very thankful to everyone who has contributed to the Blippar journey so far in particular our team members - past and present - without whom we couldn’t have built any of this.”

Blippar has been pioneering augmented reality innovation since 2011 and was acquired by Candy Ventures in January 2019. AR technology has grown in popularity over the years, with great industry momentum that allows Blippar to enhance how people see and engage with the world. While continuing its work on campaigns for brands and agencies, Blippar’s focus is on the expansion of its integrated AR creation and publishing platform Blippbuilder that works across all devices, operating systems, and integrates technologies, like Apple’s ARKit and Google’s ARCore.

Contact us for more info or sign up directly for Blippbuilder. Read more about this release on Next Reality.