Although Apple and Google have paved the way for developers to create web-based AR experiences through their respective mobile toolkits, an open source option has gone into space.
On Wednesday, A-Frame received support for the WebXR standard on version 79 of Chrome browsers for ARCore-compatible Android devices. This allows developers to publish AR content via HTTPS websites (hypertext transfer protocol secure).
According to documentation posted a few days ago, users must enable the WebXR AR module in the experimental chrome: // flag settings and then the browser to apply the settings.
AR experiences built with A-Frame version 1.0.3 or newer automatically detect the presence of the AR module and display an AR button to start the experience.
The support for the WebXR AR module in A-Frame currently has some limitations, such as lack of interactivity. However, this will be addressed in future versions of A-Frame via hit test and document object model (DOM) overlay layer functions.
The open source A-Frame framework was originally created by Mozilla, but is now maintained by tool co-makers at VR studio Supermedium. The framework mainly serves as a VR platform and allows developers to create immersive experiences via HTML coding. The web-based AR capabilities were previously used in the Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse Blu-Ray promotion experience from 8th Wall.
With AR Quick Look in ARKit and Scene Viewer in ARCore, together with the 8th wall Web platform , web-based AR has evolved rapidly over the past year and a half.
The simplicity and openness of the A-Frame platform could accelerate the growth of web-based AR experiences in the wild.