Categories: Innovation

Apple Introduces Augmented Reality For Retailers

Apple is updating its augmented reality (AR) Quick Look feature to enable merchants to sell its products in-app for an instant AR experience, according to reports on Thursday (Feb. 13).

The retailer provides the 3D model and Apple uses ARKit – handling everything from scaling to lighting – to display it as it should look. These AR shopping tools don’t require an app. They show up in Safari and link out to tools that use the camera viewfinder in a mode called AR Quick Look, which many already use.

After previewing the feature at WWDC in June, Apple now has Home Depot, Wayfair, Bang & Olufsen and 1-800-Flowers integrating Quick Look. Retailers are getting new customizable buttons to help sell products to iPhone users utilizing ARKit’s Quick Look feature.

“Users can interact with your virtual content by moving and scaling it using touch gestures, or by sharing it with others through the iOS share sheet,” an Apple blog post said. The company added a Quick Look browsing feature to Safari in 2018.

Retailers can use the new Quick Look button to allow customers to make purchases, send a user to a support chat or perform any number of customized actions.

In 2018, Houzz CEO Adi Tatarko said that users of their AR tools were 11 times more likely to make a purchase. Build.com found that people who checked out an item using AR were 22 percent less likely to return it, per reports.

Apple is also developing spatial audio into Quick Look, which lets 3D models emanate sound from wherever they have been virtually placed in the room. The sound changes as the model is moved.

The number of virtual reality (VR) users worldwide jumped from 85 million to 171 million in 2018. The evolution of AR and VR technology, along with the coming deployment of 5G mobile network ecosystems, are raising expectations about how the technology will be used in retail.

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