A recurring tension in the XR space has to do with the increasing demand for immersive experience outpacing the inflow of people with the technical prowess to author those experiences. Of course, as awareness and adoption of XR increases, so too does the number of creators contributing to the space – though there is still a significant skills gap. Blippar has come to help.
How Blippar Came to This Point
This time a few years ago, Blippar was one of the most promising companies in AR. Unfortunately, back in 2018, the company ran into some complications, saw major layoffs, and entered into administration.
Since 2020, the company is back and bigger than ever, launching some of the most impressive WebAR applications in the industry and honing the Blippar authoring tool, “BlippBuilder.” The no-code tool is built on Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM) – the ability of some mobile devices to create spatial models and scenes through the camera and algorithms.
“Part of what I’ve done in this incarnation of Blippar is to focus it down and make it easier and easier to use,” CEO Faisal Galaria told ARPost in a 2020 interview. “People are using the technology and finding their own use cases and bringing their own creativity to the platform.”
As exciting as all of this was, many of these experiences were still largely limited to major companies like OnePlus and T-Mobile. However, Galaria’s vision of more people using Blippar for more things is greatly expanding with their announcement of a free WebAR SDK.
What We Know About the WebAR SDK
V1.0 of the WebAR SDK was announced as a beta that launched this morning, October 5. The authoring tool will allow developers to “build once, publish anywhere.” The SDK works through combining SLAM with HTML or Java to create and integrate immersive models and scenes with web applications.
Experiences are launchable through a QR code and users can build experiences that work in social media platforms. Use cases for the SDK presented in press material include virtual models and product launches for brand engagement and e-commerce, as well as augmenting broadcasted events like sports games and musical performances.
In a release shared with ARPost, Galaria explained the move further:
“We believe the world is a better place with more creators. Blippar is focused on making AR widely accessible, and putting the most powerful AR creation tools in the hands of brands, agencies, and developers. With our new WebAR SDK we’re enabling creatives and developers to build and publish their own WebAR experiences from scratch, anchored with our most advanced SLAM technology to date.”
Press materials do mention pricing models, suggesting that the tool may not be free forever. However, the beta version out now is currently free with a signup.
A Better Place With More Creators
Blippar is great. We’ve been pulling for them all along, and we’ve been genuinely impressed by their experiences. The idea that more power to create more of these experiences is open to more people is certainly a thrilling development. With initiatives like this, the world gets a lot more interesting.