Shopify unveiled Monday new tools for their vendors to create augmented reality (AR) experiences. The announcement comes on the heels of Apple’s Monday release of iOS 12, which includes new functionality that provides AR experiences from within a web browser.

Shopify AR provides businesses with a toolkit to create their own AR experiences, and includes a services marketplace of 3D modeling partners, a 3D Warehouse App as well as an easy way to add AR Quick Look support to their stores.

Why you should care

AR is on the rise. Last month, 8th Wall launched what it called the “first AR solution for mobile browsers.” And now Apple’s AR Quick Look allows anyone with an iOS12 device to do the same.

The Shopify platform hosts more than 600,000 stores selling their wares, all of whom now have access to AR technology for their websites. This so-called democratization of AR could signal a sea change for a technology that’s been hamstrung by user requirements such as downloading an app, wearing a headset or scanning a QR code. Sellers can now provide customers with a new, 3D way to view their products and experience their brands, which leads to longer interaction times and the potential for less returns — good news for marketers this holiday season. And it’s a boon for creative marketers who can use the technology to create branded experiences and more.

More about the announcement

  • Safari claims nearly half of the market share of mobile browsers. Those users will now be able to experience AR right in the browser.
  • Jordan Schau, co-founder of fixed gear bicycle shop Pure Cycles has already modeled some products through Shopify AR in anticipation of the launch and says that it “empowers customers to remotely explore every inch, every part, and every angle of their products — an area where traditional product photography has fallen short.”

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