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Web AR vs. Embedded AR: What's the Difference?

July 8, 2021

Augmented Reality technology is progressing so quickly that it's sometimes hard to keep up. It seems there is a new development every few months that provides bigger and better marketing options for brands of all sizes. The latest development, however, is a big one!

Embedded AR is drastically changing how Augmented Reality experiences are viewed. It's providing a plethora of benefits: improved visibility, increased engagement, increased dwell time, and much more. 

But what exactly is Embedded AR, and how is it different from the now widely popular Web AR? 

Web AR vs Embedded AR

Web AR and Embedded AR are not completely different technologies. In fact, Embedded AR is a type of Web AR. Let us break it down for you…

What is Web AR

Web AR is web-based Augmented Reality. Instead of requiring an app like AR of the past, Web AR delivers the AR experience through a web browser. Omitting the need for an app was a huge innovation in the AR world, making AR far more accessible to brands of all sizes and to users alike. 

To access the AR experience, users simply point their smart device's camera at an Augmented Reality QR code or trigger or tap a link to automatically activate the experience. The experience opens in a microsite, similar to a landing page. Users then enjoy and interact with the AR content from that microsite.

It couldn't be any quicker or easier. Or could it…

What is Embedded AR

Embedded AR is also known as Inline AR. As both names suggest, the AR experience is embedded or "in line" with other content. That means users can access the experience without ever leaving the parent site.

So, Embedded AR is still web-based, but there's no redirection to a microsite. Why that may seem like a small difference, it has a big effect on multiple analytics and processes. 

Benefits of Embedded AR

By keeping customers on-page, Embedded AR:

  • Increases dwell time
  • Increases engagement
  • Boosts discoverability of AR content
  • Contextualizes surrounding content
  • Streamlines user onboarding
  • Adds 'wow factor' 

Embedded AR is expected to make the biggest splash in the worlds of e-commerce and retail. Although, there are some very enticing Embedded AR use cases for bloggers and other content-rich websites as well. 

2D vs. 3D Online Experiences

Another reason Embedded AR is such a big deal is because it's a huge step towards a 3D web world. The web is primarily 2D, with only images, gifs, and videos providing depth and movement. Augmented Reality adds a whole other dimension.

And with that new dimension comes interactive, engaging, informative, and fun content. 

Websites can even elevate existing pages and content by integrating new 3D Augmented Reality experiences and elements. Whether it's a home page, product page, or blog post, Augmented Reality will engage users like only 3D can. 

Augmented Reality Service Providers

Aircards is a well-established leader in the Augmented Reality marketing community. We provide several Augmented Reality services, including AR Print Marketing, AR Product Packaging, AR Events, and, of course, AR E-commerce. 

Contact us today to learn more about how Embedded AR can take your website or web store to the next level. 

Read Next: 7 Benefits of Augmented Reality in E-Commerce