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Augmented reality on the web using Model Viewer technology

Hello! Today I'll show you how you can create web reconversions using the new Google Model Viewer technology.


We all know the IKEA app for viewing furniture and interior design in augmented reality quite well. Currently, the market is trying to shorten the user's path from product to purchase by finding solutions that will not require downloading an additional application.

For example, Apple and Google have already made an attempt to create something similar to IKEA: they have both released WebAR solutions that allow you to see content in augmented reality through a browser. The interaction goes from the camera to the web page where the product is loaded.

Users can move and freely resize any 3D model to see how the furniture fits into their interior, moreover, it is possible to take a picture of the created space to share with friends later. This feature is very useful for commercial sites or for creating artwork.

Apple and Google have gone a long way in bringing augmented reality to the web so that users can interact with content and products via a URL link or a special QR code without installing any additional apps on their smartphone.


To view augmented reality in a browser, Apple has developed a Quick Look solution, which I already wrote about earlier in  an article that reveals the features of development on iOS.

Google has developed Scene Viewer,  an open source framework  that can be embedded into any web page and launched either in Quick View (if the device is based on iOS and supports this feature) or through Google Scene Viewer (if the device has Android libraries). or ARCore). Both companies have created an almost identical solution for Android and iOS devices.

This solution was called  Model Viewer.

Model Viewer allows you to view 3D content using a classic web page, as well as run augmented reality on the web, or both. In accordance with the given parameters of the HTML tag, which are set by the user, the program will perform one or another function.

Pros and cons of Model Viewer technology

Pros :

  • Easy to assemble: Requires a few lines of HTML to build;

  • Cross-Platform: The Model Viewer can be used by iOS, Android users, and those using the WebXR Device API technology, if supported.

  • Ease of use: The interface is user-friendly - they can move objects in space, resize it and take pictures with just a few gestures.

Cons :

  • Ease of use - for programmers: at the moment the program does not support any official tools that allow you to view AR content without knowing the code. This minus can be considered as a temporarily missing feature, since at the moment the development of AR programs is close to creating platforms on which you can view content without knowing the code.

  • Cross-platforming: the program can hardly be called completely cross-platform, since it is supported by iOS devices starting from version 13, Android devices need ARCore support.

  • Not configurable: Currently, you can only change the landing page that triggers are set to. An AR experience that launches when you click the Launch AR button cannot be edited.

  • Feature Discovery: The extension is not available on either iOS or Android.

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