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.
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. This meant that Shopify merchants looking to offer these experiences had to have their own unique mobile apps that customers would need to download.
With iOS 12’s AR Quick Look, 3D models of products in the usdz file format can be uploaded directly to online Shopify stores and viewed in AR right within Safari, without needing to download a separate app.
If a retailer’s e-commerce site contains an image that links to a usdz file, a badge will appear in the top right corner of the image. Tapping on it will open up AR Quick Look and let consumers place the 3D model in their space.
Usdz files are also easily shareable, so if shoppers are looking to get a second opinion before purchasing, they can embed the virtual product in chat or email conversations.
At Unite, Shopify’s annual partner and developer conference, we announced the addition of new partners who will provide 3D modelling services for Shopify merchants. In light of Apple’s announcement at WWDC, Shopify will continue to lower the barrier to AR commerce by creating an ecosystem that supports both the creation and storage of usdz files.
Stay tuned as we release more tools to integrate AR into Shopify. And if you’re interested in providing AR/VR/3D services for merchants, sign up at shopify.com/3d.