Since the launch of Shopify AR last fall, we have been committed to helping merchants create better, more seamless online shopping experiences through the use of 3D and augmented reality. So when Apple announced ARKit 3 and Reality Composer at WWDC this past week, we quickly started experimenting with how these new tools can help create new dimensions of engagement for shoppers.

Last year, AR Quick Look made it possible to view products in 3D and AR on the web without the use of an app. This year, Reality Composer makes it possible to create interactive scenes that are viewable right from your browser. Rather than examining single products, customers will now be able to see and manipulate an entire collection in context. …

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When we launched Shopify AR, we wanted to give merchants the tools to create their own augmented reality shopping experiences.

Four months later, we’ve been blown away by what these companies have built through Shopify AR and how they are using the technology to bring their products to life in front of their customers.

We want to share with you ten examples of stores using augmented reality powered by Shopify, spanning different industries and use cases.

Online shopping with augmented reality (AR) is about to get a whole lot simpler on iOS devices. Rather than having to download specific apps to shop in AR, consumers on iOS 12 this fall will have AR Quick Look — a feature that allows products to be previewed in AR directly from Safari.

AR on the Web + Apple Pay = A seamless remote shopping experience that instills confidence.

For the past three years, Shopify has been exploring how AR / VR will change the way consumers shop. Last year, we showed how Apple’s ARKit could be used to provide compelling AR commerce experiences. The main complexity was that ARKit needed to be run in an app. …

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You’ve probably been in this situation before: you’re looking at a product online and you hesitate to buy because you’d rather see it in person first. Sound familiar?

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Wouldn’t it be convenient if that product could magically appear in front of you? Virtual reality (VR) lets you do that, and believe it or not, it can now be done right from your browser.

At this year’s Shopify Unite conference, we wanted to show how 3D and virtual reality could be seamlessly embedded into Shopify stores, using a new technology called WebVR.

WebVR is an open standard that’s being integrated into experimental browser builds. It allows interactive 3D graphics running inside a webpage to be displayed within any available VR headset, without needing to download an app or special plugin. …

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Over the holidays I finally got around to playing with a UE4 plugin I’ve been eyeing for some time: VICO Dynamics. It’s a plugin for all your rope physics needs and is way more powerful and flexible than Unreal’s built-in cable component.

For whatever reason, the first use case that came to mind was playing with marionettes in VR. A day or two later, this is what I had:

I’m still trying to find the best soundtrack to go with this.

Turns out puppet shows in VR are surprisingly fun and hilarious. If you own an Oculus Rift, you need to give this a try. …

Today the VR team at Shopify is excited to launch Thread Studio, our first virtual reality application. It’s currently available for the HTC Vive (with Rift support coming soon).

You can download it for free on Steam.

Thread Studio is a new and interactive way of testing out t-shirt designs. It transports you into a virtual photo studio where you can upload designs and lay them out on mannequins wearing American Apparel shirts.

When you’re happy with how your shirts look, the app can save print-ready files that can be sent to the print-on-demand provider, Printful.

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Unlike online shirt customizers that just overlay your image on a 2D photo of a shirt, Thread Studio uses 3D shirts modelled to real proportions, so what you see in VR is what you will get in real life. …

Hey everyone! I’m Daniel and I lead our VR efforts at Shopify.

When I talk to people about VR and commerce, the first idea that usually pops into their heads is about all the possibilities of walking around a virtual shopping mall. While that could be an enjoyable experience for some, I find it’s a very limiting view of how virtual reality can actually improve retail.

If VR gave you the superpowers to do anything, create anything, and go anywhere you want, would you really want to go shopping in a regular mall?

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No one’s going to say, “I’m so glad I spent $1000 on a VR headset for this.”

More than a virtual mall

It’s easy to take a new medium and try to shoehorn in what already exists and is familiar. What’s hard is figuring out what content makes the medium truly shine and worthwhile to use. …


Daniel Beauchamp

Head of AR/VR @Shopify

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