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Bringing 3D to the Web
Virtual Reality

In recent times virtual reality (VR) has taken leaps in technical capability and popularity. It has to date been closely connected to gaming and dedicated desktop software, however, VR is now growing in other spaces as well. Virtual reality is making its way into web browsers via WebVR enhancing the immersive content and allowing users to share 3D content and images in lifelike ways. WebVR offers web visitors unparalleled views of your product or business location without the need to leave the website, keeping potential customers on your website longer allowing them to interact with your products or services with just a click of a mouse.

How can WebVR benefit your website?

Imagine an online application that lets home buyers walk through a three-dimensional virtual tour of a planned property, an online clothing shop which lets users try clothes on virtually before buying them, or providing a real life view of your next holiday destination. According to Bron Imaging, shoppers develop a deeper emotional attachment to products they are able to physically touch. What this means for e-commerce is that WebVR technology and 3D product images allows users to explore the shape and texture of a product and imagine themselves with the product. When items can be full interacted with, spun, zoomed for detail, and "touched", it creates an experience similar to physical touch. In addition, consumers that have the opportunity to purchase from two different vendors will almost always choose a site with greater product detail and information about the product. The better view you’re able to give your customers of your product, the more likely your customers are to get to the checkout with your product. WebVR technologies enable this and enhance the user experience. Here are a few examples of WebVR: ShoppingHouse TourProduct Page

Technical Details

WebVR is a JavaScript API for creating immersive 3D, Virtual Reality experiences in your browser. To date, VR has been accessible primarily on proprietary platforms. However, WebVR is designed to be completely platform and device agnostic, providing a scalable pathway. AFrame is one provider enabling developers to create VR experiences. The goal of AFrame is to make coding VR apps for the web even easier than coding web apps with standard HTML and javascript

WebVR is still relatively new, meaning some aspects are not widely supported in browsers. However, 360-degree images only require a small subset of WebVR capabilities, therefore support largely exists for at least the fallback-level display. Normally VR requires a device to view, however, users can still pan around images on the web using their mouse.

Monique Oosterbaan

Author: Monique Oosterbaan
Published: 01/08/2017