Brands are starting to dip their toes into the virtual worlds of the Metaverse, with Gucci, Nike, Vans and others opening their stores in Roblox, while Balenciaga and the NFL are among those creating “skins” for gamers. Fortnite from Epic Games.
But for smaller brands that don’t have the in-house capabilities to build digital assets, the move from physical to virtual can be a bit daunting, which is one of the reasons Nextech AR launched earlier this week a software as a platform of service (SaaS) to enable the creation of 3D models that can be used to present products in augmented reality (AR) as well as in virtual worlds.
See more : Nextech AR Launches 3D Model Creation Platform
Large retail companies, including Kohl’s, Skate One, and Kmart Australia, are already using Nextech AR’s SaaS to create templates for their websites, allowing consumers to visualize what an item will look like in their space before making a purchase. Nextech said that data provided by Shopify shows that AR can increase conversions by 94% and reduce returns by 40%.
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One of the biggest hurdles for brands using AR technology and entering the metaverse, David Ripert, CEO of Poplar Studio, told PYMNTS in a recent interview, the availability of 3D models – for decades the products were displayed on 2D web pages.
“When you shop online, you see photos, you see videos, you see these products in flat 2D,” Ripert said. “They didn’t create this 3D product… that you can wear on your avatar, on yourself in this virtual environment. So this is something that brands need to look at right now.
Also see: Augmented reality helps build the “store of the future”
Nextech AR CEO Evan Gappelberg said he expects 3D models to be “the norm in e-commerce shopping in 2022 and beyond.”
“With our AI-powered 3D content creation capabilities, and now our low-cost, monthly-fee-based SaaS platform, we are responding to this growing market demand and head-on unblocking the bottleneck of creating 3D content, ”Gappelberg said in a statement.
Build your own metaverse
Nextech is also going beyond simple 3D merchandise modeling, intending to soon offer a “Metaverse Studio” SaaS product that allows retailers, brands and other customers to create their own metaverse and potentially recreate the experience. social shopping in person. The company believes it is the first such product to hit the market.
Metaverse Studio is currently available as a managed service, but will likely launch as a SaaS solution in early 2022. Nextech customers will be able to create a spatial map through a downloadable app or by uploading the company’s SDK to their own app, providing creators with access to 3D resources that can enable AR experiences in the metaverse.
“I am very pleased with our rapid development and deployment of our SaaS platforms as we position ourselves against the massive decades-long megatrend of the metaverse and augmented reality,” said Gappelberg. “We are one of the only AR companies that currently have disruptive, scalable technology offered as a SaaS solution. “
Several brands have already started experimenting with creating virtual stores on their websites with 3D models, although most lack the social interactions with others that define most of the metaverse. Neha Singh, CEO of experiential shopping software Obsess, told PYMNTS that she believes AR and virtual reality (VR) are the keys to making e-commerce more attractive.
Already used by Levi’s, Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren and other brands, Obsess creates a virtual store, either by replicating a real-world location or by creating something entirely new, where consumers can browse and buy as they see fit. would do without the Internet.
“A lot more people can go through this even though they can’t be there in person,” Singh said. “It just increases the audience for retail stores.” Brands can also embed interactive content, such as quizzes, videos, and appointment bookings, in virtual stores.
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