Designed as an entirely web-based AR platform for Android devices, Web AR removes the friction associated with users having to install apps or browser plugins to experience augmented reality. Instead, this simple, lightweight platform can be embedded inside a web page. This allows content creators to make richer, more exciting web experiences that can be accessed even from lower-end devices.
The platform is written in JS and draws from a number of open source machine vision libraries, as well as Three.JS for 3D rendering AR objects in the browser. It uses the phone’s rear camera to search for markers and then overlays them on the camera feed inside the browser window. The platform comes with a config file to enable easy content creation, and supports both picture and video textures as well as any number of 3D models.
I developed this platform from scratch during my UX/Web Development internship at World Vision. It was combined with Eddystone Beacon technology to create an exciting, location-based marketing experience designed to drive donations towards child sponsorship in poor areas of the world, and was featured at World Vision’s Innovation Fest alongside projects from Microsoft and other major software companies. When they approached the booth, participants’ phones were sent links to the web experience using the web beacons. They then were able to browse through a stack of cards showing specific children currently needing aid. When their phones detected a card, a video of the child was displayed. Finally, by tapping on the video of their choice, the participants were brought to a web store where they were able to sponsor the specific child in the video.
A demo of an early prototype for this experience can be seen below: