Web Based Augmented Reality (Web AR): Explained, Benefits, & Examples

Imagine a world where augmented reality experiences are just a click away, accessible directly through a web browser without the need for any app downloads. Welcome to web-based augmented reality (web AR).

Well, there is no need to imagine. Web-based augmented reality has made this future a reality. AR has been on the rise for years, but advancements in web AR have allowed the technology to become even more useful, accessible, and in demand across almost all industries.

With web AR, any business can bring the power of augmented reality to their customers instantly, without the friction of app downloads. This means more engagement, less abandonment, and the ability to stand out from competitors. For customers, web AR means convenience and ease of use.

For retailers, web augmented reality enables virtual try-ons, showcasing products in real environments, and bringing the in-store experience online. For educators, web AR facilitates interactive learning with 3D models and simulations. Architects and designers can use web AR for virtual walkthroughs. And marketers can create immersive brand experiences that connect with audiences.

The possibilities are endless. As web AR continues advancing, businesses both large and small can leverage its advantages. Frictionless, convenient augmented reality is here. The future of marketing, retail, education and more is web AR capability.

What is web-based AR?

Web-based AR or web AR is short for web-based augmented reality, web AR is a relatively new technology that can be run on a browser rather than other means. Web-based AR uses technologies like WebXR, WebGL, and JavaScript libraries including AR.js or 8th Wall to create interactive immersive experiences that overlay digital content onto the real world using a device such as a smartphone, tablet, or headset.

Web-based augmented reality simplifies the process of accessing augmented reality experiences by eliminating the need for users to download apps, making it incredibly accessible, user-friendly, and seamless. Web AR experiences unlock new possibilities for many industries, from retail and eCommerce to marketing and entertainment, the possibilities are only limited by creativity.

This simplicity unlocks new possibilities. Retailers can enable virtual try-ons, letting shoppers visualise products in their own space. Architects can create interactive 3D models of building designs. Museums can build immersive exhibits that transport visitors through time and space. The applications are endless. By removing friction, web AR makes augmented reality achievable for organizations large and small. It delivers convenience for users and innovation for brands.

The benefits of web AR, and how is app-based different?

There is no exact point when web AR came into the fold, but it started to gain notable popularity from 2018 onwards. Before this, app-based augmented reality dominated the space. Although both forms of AR have their specific uses and benefits, web-based AR is more powerful and it is the clear front-runner between the two.

Here are some of the main differences between the two forms of augmented reality and the benefits of web AR:

Ease of use

Ease of use is a key benefit derived from the fact that web AR is accessible via a web browser rather than having to go through multiple steps to access app-based experiences.

See with app-based augmented reality there are a few steps you have to go through (in consumers’ words, hurdles) before getting your hands on the AR experience. Let’s look at an example, if you run a marketing campaign where you pop stickers or posters around a city with QR codes on, and customers have to scan the QR codes to activate the AR experience. But then when they scan it it states that they have to download an app first. The majority of users are going to turn away. Whereas with web-based augmented reality, scanning the QR will take them straight to the AR experience, with no additional steps.

Which one would you be more likely to engage with?

Many people are comfortable with web browsers as well, there is a certain familiarity that comes with web AR. Since web AR utilises browsers, there is no learning curve for users as most are comfortable with navigating websites and interacting with web content.

Development time and cost

Another benefit to web-based AR is that development is generally faster and less expensive when compared to app-based AR. Web AR leverages existing web development technologies, including HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Allowing developers to utilise their existing skills and knowledge instead of potentially having to learn new skills.

Web-based AR eliminates the need for app store submission and approval processes. Unlike apps, which need to have updates, developers can deploy and update their AR experiences directly on a website or URL, making the deployment process faster and more streamlined.

Web-based AR offers simplified maintenance and updates. Changes or improvements to the AR content can be made directly on the web page or URL, ensuring that users always have access to the latest version without requiring them to download updates.

Wide distribution

Web-based AR experiences can be easily shared and distributed by sharing a URL or embedding them on websites. This ease of distribution allows for broader exposure and reach, making it convenient for businesses, marketers, and educators to showcase their AR content to a broader audience. The simplicity of sharing web-based AR experiences via URLs allows businesses, marketers, and educators to showcase their AR content to a broader audience. With a simple click, users can access these experiences directly through their web browsers, making it convenient and accessible for anyone with an internet connection.

Thanks to its ease of distribution, web-based AR can also be a worthwhile investment for businesses as it unlocks new opportunities for marketing and advertising. Companies can create interactive and immersive 3D and AR web-based experiences that can be embedded on their websites or shared through social media. This allows companies to showcase their products or services in a unique way and engaging way.

Cross-platform compatibility

Unlike app-based AR, web-based AR has the benefit of working across different devices and platforms, including smartphones, tablets, desktops, and even some smart glasses. It is not restricted to a specific operating system and can be accessed on both iOS and Android devices. This cross-platform compatibility ensures a wider reach and better user engagement, as users can access AR experiences regardless of their device preferences.

Web-based augmented reality’s flexibility ensures a wider reach, enhances user engagement, and provides a seamless transition between devices, ultimately maximising the impact and effectiveness of web-based AR experiences.

How does web ar work?

Similar to any kind of augmented reality web AR works by overlaying digital objects, information, or other elements on top of the real world to provide unique and interactive experiences. Web AR can be used on a variety of devices, including smartphones, tablets, and even AR glasses.

Web AR needs specific components in place to create realistic experiences. Here are the basic components needed for web AR to work:

Input Devices and Data Processing: The web-based AR experience begins with input devices such as cameras and sensors, which capture the real-world environment. This data is then transmitted for processing, where sophisticated algorithms analyse it to track the device’s location, orientation, and objects in the physical world. This processing enables the precise placement of digital objects within the real-world environment.

Processing Power and Object Rendering: The data received from input devices leverage algorithms to accurately track location, orientation, and real-world objects. This information is then utilised to render digital objects, ensuring they seamlessly blend into the physical environment before being displayed to the user.

Output Devices for Immersive Experience: Output devices, such as screens, projectors, or other displays, play a crucial role in delivering a seamless augmented reality experience. These devices showcase the combined digital and physical world, allowing users to perceive the integration of digital objects within their surroundings. The output devices serve as a medium through which users can immerse themselves in the augmented reality environment, blurring the lines between the virtual and real world.

Here is a more simplified way of how basic web AR works:

Learn more about how augmented reality works here.

The best examples of web AR

There are plenty of great examples to showcase how brands worldwide have used web AR to spark interest in consumers’ minds for their products or services. Find some of the best examples of web AR below:

REYDAR –  web AR 3D & AR viewers

Only natural to show our own technology first, right? The REYDAR 3D & AR viewer allows you to showcase every intricate detail of your products, from every angle, in jaw-dropping realism.

The REYDAR viewer is easily added to any web page using a simple embed code, and at the touch of a button, your product can be pinged into augmented reality using web AR. By allowing your customers to check out your products in 3D and AR you can boost engagement, buyer confidence, and conversions.

Check out the example below, view the 3D printer in 3D, check the hotspots, and then ping it into your own space using augmented reality, all from your browser.

REYDAR – web AR flooring sample viewer

Another one from the team at REYDAR (sorry, but not really). The REYDAR flooring sample viewer makes picking your perfect flooring easier than ever before. Augmented reality on mobile phones now has the ability to read your environment incredibly well, so we took advantage of that.

With our samples viewer, you can view flooring samples in your own space at the touch of a button. QR codes can also be added to your marketing collateral, such as physical samples, meaning you can seamlessly blend the physical and virtual worlds.

The 3D product flooring visualiser displays freedom and depth that customers can explore, rotate, zoom, and inspect, like never before. Consumers can hand off to mobile to view your flooring in AR and instantly be taken back to your site to contact you or place orders.

Coca-Cola – animated stories in web AR

This web AR example is great as it encapsulates everything that Coca-Cola (Coke) is about. This campaign was activated by users scanning a label on a can of Coke to view a short animated story in their environment via a smart device.

Customers could have been shown one of twelve stories in which animated characters would get a little conflict but the solution at the end would be to share a can of Coke. Each story would also end with positive remarks such as “Let’s enjoy our passion together”.

Not only was this a unique experience for Coke customers, but it also tied in with their overall brand story, creating a compelling story that can be shared together.

Dune – create your own avatar

Augmented reality has started to creep into the film industry for a number of years now, with many using AR campaigns to gain traction or generate user-generated content. This is exactly what Dune capitalised on.

Visitors to the Dune experience could personalise an avatar or submit a picture to use as the foundation for a whole new one. Users could then customise their avatar’s clothing, hair, and eye colour to make their virtual selves look like they were natives of the fictional planet Arrakis, Dune.

After creating the avatar, users could use their smartphone to view their character in web AR, or even save their character to use in games, creating a seamless cross-platform experience.

With the addition of this unique experience, the anticipated film release became incredibly exciting, with over 16,000 avatars being created in the web AR experience.

Kinder – jump into Africa

Through the innovative use of in-store markers and web-based augmented reality technology, Kinder created an immersive world where 3D animals roam freely for customers to explore.

Users could engage with these captivating creatures, interact with them up close, and discover fascinating insights through informative infographics. It’s a candy-filled adventure that combines the joy of confectionery with the thrill of exploring nature’s untamed beauty.

To experience this, customers simply had to scan a code and away they went.

What are some of the most popular use cases for web augmented reality?

Now that we have gone through some of our favourite examples, let’s take a broader look at some of the most popular use cases for web-based augmented reality. There are hundreds (if not thousands) of valuable uses for web AR, some of them are used more often than others, and some probably haven’t even been used before and are just waiting to be unlocked. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular use cases though:


Probably the most popular use case and where brands can see some immense value. 3D and AR viewers can be embedded directly into product pages, where the normal 2D static imagery sits to give customers the ability to engage and interact with products like never before. When you give customer more control over their product experience, they are more likely to convert as they can make more confident and accurate decisions, much faster than they would with 2D imagery.

Product packaging

Need a creative way to get your product from the shelf and into people’s hands? Bring your packaging to life with scannable QR codes on your packaging that take your potential customers to a web-based AR experience. This could be used to create user-generated content, enter in a competition, or just bring a new experience to your customers.


Similarly to product packaging, why not make your print advertising more interactive too? You can create immersive AR experiences at any scale, from direct mail with personalised experiences to data-rich business cards that give your clients a unique experience.


Imagine taking a billboard or poster and transforming it into a canvas for an augmented reality experience. With web-based augmented reality you can do exactly that, allowing brands to engage with consumers in an interactive way that blends traditional experiences with the new era of marketing.

There are so many ways to make the most of web augmented reality, finding the right use case fo both your brand and your customers is key to unlocking the most rewards and enhancing their experience with your brand.

Web AR: the future of augmented reality experiences

Web-based augmented reality has revolutionised digital experiences by providing accessible and user-friendly augmented reality content directly through web browsers.

With its ease of use, faster development time, and cost efficiency, web AR is certain to continue to be the preferred choice to provide augmented reality experiences. As devices evolve, the internet speeds up, and consumers demand more, we expect web AR to continue its growth and become a regular part of our everyday lives in the coming years.

REYDAR: the best web AR platform

Are you looking for a web AR platform? With REYDAR as your trusted web AR platform, you gain access to cutting-edge technology, seamless integration, and unparalleled support.

Choose REYDAR to elevate your brand’s presence, captivate your audience, and unlock the true potential of web-based augmented reality.