Even though it was first conceived in the 1950s, virtual reality (VR) didn’t really take off until the recent years. Head-mounted display systems (VR headsets) are becoming more prevalent in households across the globe (with as many as 55.5 million predicted by the end of 2024), and VR games are slowly but surely drawing in a strong fanbase. VR’s sister technology, augmented reality (AR), is finding its use in marketing, product testing, education, training, and even social media.
To say that VR and AR are relatively new technologies wouldn’t be wrong. However, because the tech world is evolving at almost breakneck speed, newer and more efficient versions of AR and VR are already on the market.
In this post, we’re going to discuss XR (extended reality) – more specifically WebXR – and how it influences the world of AR and VR, what you can do with it, and what it means for your business.
What is WebXR?
XR means ‘extended reality’ that encompasses AR, VR, and other present and future immersive technologies that will doubtlessly find their way to the public. WebXR is an API (application programming interface) that allows software developers to work on a wide range of XR experiences for mobile devices and desktops.
What does that mean, in layman’s terms?
WebXR allows IT companies to create AR and VR software that is web-based. These XR experiences are accessed through a browser and don’t require any app downloads or installations from the user. Anyone with a smartphone can have an AR (or VR) experience just by clicking on a link.
Understandably, this opens up a whole new set of possibilities. Businesses can now take advantage of extended reality without worrying whether their consumers would want to download the app or if their devices would be able to support it. Anyone can use WebXR. For pretty much anything.
What can WebXR do?
The better question here is: what can you do with WebXR? In theory, options and purposes for WebXR are limitless. Here are just a few examples of what you can do in WebXR:
- Create immersive VR/XR artwork
- Develop games for entertainment
- Develop games for marketing and engaging consumers
- Construct 360-degree surroundings and scenes
- Create filters for social media posts
- Build an unlimited number of 3D models of all kinds, and so much more
WebXR can be used in entertainment, marketing, education, training, virtual travel, you name it. Businesses from all corners of the industry are flocking to the new technology that enables their consumers to try out immersive surroundings and real-world enhancements like you wouldn’t believe.
One of the most impressive examples of WebXR is Amazon’s Sumerian Express, a VR scene where you find yourself on a train, the Sumerian Express, and get to explore a passenger compartment while the train is in motion.
If you’re a fan of history and travel, you may also want to take a peek at Rome’s Invisible City from BBC, a WebXR experience that transports you to Rome. Once in the city, you get to learn about its ancient buildings and monuments, wonderfully narrated and accompanied by stunning 360-degree images.
We weren’t joking when we said nearly anything was possible in Web XR.
Which browsers are supported?
We’ve mentioned how all you need to partake in WebXR experiences is an internet browser. Can it be any browser? It depends.
Here is a list of all the browsers that support WebXR. Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and Opera are ahead of the game, though in some other browsers, such as Firefox, you have the option to enable WebXR support.
Is WebXR the way forward?
The truth is, no one knows what technology will arrive even a year from now, let alone longer than that. But we are confident that WebXR, due to its efficiency and ease of use, will rightfully surpass classic AR and VR apps in due time.
If you’re a business owner interested in integrating any of these technologies into your campaigns to drive consumer traffic, definitely consider the option of WebXR. Your potential customers will be impressed by the fact that they don’t have to do anything more than simply click on a link and enjoy the exciting new things you’ve prepared for them.