Start creating 3D assets from your products, as in, now!

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Image for post

Why am I all up in arms here? What happened? On September 17th Apple’s iOS 12 update launched. What about it? Well, some time ago Apple gave a sneak peak of the things to come. One of those things was native support for a new 3D format called USDZ. Clearly I’m still not making any sense on the importance of this. Let’s roll back here and start at the beginning. In unison with Pixar (yes, from the movies) Apple defined (or will support, whatever) a new file format for 3D objects called USDZ. just like you have “.JPG” for images, or “.m4v” for movies, you’ll now have a “.USDZ” file format for 3D assets. USDZ stands for “Zero-compression, unencrypted zip archive” of the USD (Universal Scene Description) format (pfew). In and of itself, this isn’t a biggie. There are plenty of 3D formats out there. The really important piece of the puzzle here is that Apple will support this format out of the box within iOS 12 which, again, has launched on September 17th.

Starting then, every iPhone from iPhone 6S on up, with iOS 12 installed will be able to “read” and thus “present” an model in the USDZ format in 3D. We know the adoption of a new iOS version is very high. As an example: the adoption rate of iOS 11, after one year, was 85%. So this functionality will become available to a huge userbase.

USDZ and AR-Kit: Walhallah for every company that sells tangible goods.

Simply update your iPhone to iOS 12 and visit this page by using your phone:
Tap any of the objects and watch them appear in 3D. Then, tap the “AR” button and place the object on your desk. Tadaaaah. Fancy eh?

Not upgraded yet, check out this vid…

Or hey, why not justwalk through it, right?

What’s it to me?

Is this a FAD?

Oh, and lest not forget, think about the staggering amount of iOS devices out there. this is not some “small percentage” of your customerbase.

OK, so what do I do next?

Quick check: do you sell a tangible good? Cool. Now, you know the importance of having good product imagery, right? It really influences the online purchase behaviour. What’s next. Oh right, video. I bet you’ve read tonnes of articles explaining the advantages of also providing video of your products. Struggeling with that? I understand. It eats resources. But you need to do this to stay ahead of the competition. It’s the olympic minimum for online commerce.

Unfortunately, providing an AR experience of your products has become part of that olympic minimum since September 17th. Just like imagery and video helps to sell products, providing a 3D version in AR will do the same.

Luckily, e-commerce solution providers also understand the importance of this. Shopify already has a complete writedown on how to get these AR assets in your store offering. They are not alone. Almost every other e-commerce solution out there has AR plugins at the ready.

But I don’t sell through an e-commerce system, or I don’t sell products at all.

It does not have to be about a product. The technology can also be used to demonstrate or educate your customers by showing them 3D animated scenes right where they are.

OK, OK, I’m inspired. Can you help out?

Curious as to what else you could do with this technology to serve your customers better? Let’s discover the opportunities together in a co-creation session or better yet: let’s prototype and see what works and what doesn’t.


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