USDZ-files will reshape the future of purchasing

We are talking browser enabled Augmented Reality - WebAR

One of the biggest advantages of a brick-and-mortar store is that consumers get to interact with an item and familiarize themselves with a product before purchase.

But think about expensive designer products, large products like furniture, or products that require installation like a water tap. Even though customers can see and touch the product, they never really know if something works in their home until they see it in the actual space.

USDZ-files changes that.

Virtual products mean advantages for customers

Last year, Apple and Pixar introduced a new file-format: the USDZ-file. This format allows very large and complex 3D-files to be zipped and then viewed directly from an iOS 12 device without downloading any apps. Think of it as the PDF-version of a 3D file.

With the introduction of USDZ, products become virtual and thus accessible anywhere at any time. Being able to place a virtual refrigerator in a kitchen without any commitment – and without having to move a huge old fridge – means lessening uncertainty in a purchase. Customers can see exactly how that fridge will look next to their existing kitchen cabinets. And while they’re at it, they can also test out how a new cabinet would look.

The USDZ-file contains a 3D-model of an item – let’s say a Tesla car. If a user opens the file on their phone, they can place the Tesla anywhere in the space around them. In other words, USDZ allows for WebAR, i.e. a new development that uses mobile devices to provide an Augmented Reality experience.

If you’re on an iOS device and are using the Safari browser, click the picture of the water tap and you can place a virtual water tap on any flat surface,  right away. If you’re reading this via Linkedin or other apps in-app-browser it will not work. Exit the app, and access the page through your safari mobile browser.

Impactful implementation requires proper expertise

While it’s fun to go around placing Teslas wherever you go, there is real value for businesses if they adopt the use of USDZ.

But you need to do your groundwork. Delivering impressive USDZ experiences requires remarkable and detailed 3D models. If the USDZ model is not convincing, the experience will fall flat and users will not benefit from it. So while the idea is simple, it requires expertise and dedicated craftsmanship to elevate the experience from just being fun to play around with to being something that nudges the customer towards the purchasing decision.

The possibilities are endless and there is no doubt that USDZ and AR will play a huge role in the future of retail.

If you’re curious for more, follow the link below.

Check out our digital Tesla and the story behind it

We pushed the limits of this technology by building a Tesla for the USDZ-format. It’s lifesize and you will need to keep that in mind when placing it in your kitchen. We recommend putting it in your driveway.

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