Back in 2018, Apple released a feature for iOS and iPad OS called “Quick Look,” which allowed users to see certain products directly in their room. The feature created an instant augmented reality (AR) experience within apps that users already had on their phones like Safari, iMessage, and more.
To use this feature all users needed to do is look for Apple’s AR badge in the corner of web images, shown in the example below from TapSmart. When they clicked on the badge they were able to place the given object anywhere in a room.
This really gave users a feel for exactly what the product would look like before purchasing.
Quick Look was well received by retailers like Home Depot, Magnolia, and Wayfair. Since Apple’s recently-announced update, other large retail companies have been quick to add these customizable buttons to their websites.
Apple is one of the companies leading the charge on making AR more available, and there’s hope that it will become a more familiar thing to consumers, especially from those like Moments, an AR company helping create smarter homes.
If AR becomes more widely accepted by users, it could really help retailers break down huge barriers when it comes to online shopping.
E-commerce companies will be able to give consumers direct insight into how certain products will look, feel, and even act in their space, which helps increase sales and lessen returns for products.
Last week, Apple announced that it will be rolling out more support for Quick Look, and that it has also added a feature allowing users to purchase directly from the AR preview.
This update will allow developers to add a purchase button (that will open up Apple Pay), or to use a support window to chat with customers.
Besides making purchases and opening a chat window, retailers will have a lot of customizable options to make the button lead users to wherever they would like on their site. For example, if a retailer wanted a user to view all of the color options for the specific product they’re viewing in AR, a button can lead them directly to the page that showcases all of the options available.
Apple is also rolling out some additional support for spatial audio so that the 3D models of speakers or other noise-making devices can actually make noise in the room you’re viewing it in.
Retailers will be able to showcase not only how great their speaker system will look in your living room, but also how great it will sound.
Just like before, all customers need to do is look for Apple’s AR image in the corner, and from there they can view a product in their room — and then easily complete the action that retailers want them to complete.
In this example from TechCrunch HomeDepot is directing the user to chat with support and ask questions about the product itself, availability, and delivery options.
AR clearly makes the experience for the user even easier. If they like the way the product looks, all they need to do is swipe up to take the next action. The consumer no longer needs to search for their wallet or go through the sometimes tedious checkout process.
To get started, retailers need to provide a 3D model of their product to Apple and then Apple will use its ARKit to render it into the real world. From there, Apple will make sure everything looks right, from the scale of the product to the room lighting and different shadows the product would cast.