Google has been working with augmented reality (AR) technology for quite a while now, first with Project Tango and then quite recently with ARCore. Now the mothership really wants for AR to take off and bring it mainstream – Google is bringing AR to your browsers, and it looks good and proper. Google announced that it would be bringing AR to Chrome browsers at the I/O 2017 Conference, and almost a year after, here we are with new AR browser features for Chrome.
Today, Google is introducing to us Article. This is basically a 3D model viewer that is compatible not only with Chrome but with all browsers. Google envisions web pages in the near future to be a mixture of static content and AR content. On your desktop, triggering AR content would allow you to view a specific element from all angles. On mobile, AR content would also trigger your camera, and you would be able to project an element onto your room to get a sense of how big something is.
Article is just one of the prototypes Google is envisioning for web-based AR. There is no standard yet for viewing AR elements on the web, and it feels like Google wants to spearhead that movement with Article. The bottom line is that Google wants web developers and content managers to start experimenting with how you can show AR elements on web pages.
If you want to develop AR content for the web, Google has set up a website to help you get started. This is clearly new ground for web development, and there are lots more things to explore with AR on the web. Hopefully what Google is spearheading takes off in the right direction, and we’ll start to see AR-rich content on web pages soon.