“The release of Universal AR is a landmark moment for us,” said Connell Gauld, Co-Founder and CTO at Zappar. “Since we first released our WebAR offering last year we have been excited about the browser as a medium for delivering AR to the widest number of users as possible, and now for the first time, content developers can utilise our computer vision in whichever platforms and creative tools they are most familiar with. These two innovations are a great leap forward in Zappar’s mission to democratise augmented reality.”
Universal AR is a unified SDK that provides developers with all three of the major AR tracking types: face, image, and instant world tracking, for access in mobile web browsers. These three tracking types are used in the vast majority of AR experiences, and with Zappar’s Universal AR, developers have the ability to choose whichever tracking type they would like, without having to use additional third party libraries.
The company has also provided a set of example repositories and bootstrap projects to enable developers to get started as quickly as possible creating their own experiences. Hosting and publishing is integrated with the ZapWorks Content Management System, and licensing is included in each tier of ZapWorks plan, with self-hosting of WebAR through a custom domain available for those on the Enterprise tier.
Early access partner VRCraftworks has already been testing Universal AR with its projects. “Our early testing of Universal AR for three.js has yielded some really impressive results, in particular, face tracking through the browser.” said Peter Maddalena, Managing Director at VR Craftworks. “I am excited by the flexibility of choosing a platform based on what a specific project requires, whilst being able to work more often with Zappar who has always impressed me with not only the quality of their products but their commitment to fair pricing and developer support.”
Universal AR comes at a time where there are billions of connected devices in the market, yet they are split between iOS and Android. Zappar’s solution offers a unified solution that allows developers to build AR campaigns once and then deploy creations everywhere, without being restricted to one operating system or platform.
According to Zappar, its partners include Nestle, 7-Eleven, Beiersdorf, Kellogg’s, Rovio, The Coca-Cola Company, and PwC among others. The company added that brands have found that the technology helps to enable stats such as dwell times over two minutes, as well as engagement rates of over 40 per cent once inside an application – something which Zappar claims demonstrates “the deliverable impact of AR for businesses.”
Image credit: Zappar