If online retail is war (and who says it isn't), then CGTrader is prepared to arm its allies with augmented reality ammunition.
On Wednesday, at the Augmented World Expo (AWE) in Santa Clara, California, the 3D content provider unveiled ARsenal, an e-commerce software tool that enables retailers to create 3D models of products from 2D images using a product link or smartphone snapshot instead of a full-blown photogrammetry session.
In addition to 3D modeling, CGTrader ARsenal offers retailers the ability to embed augmented reality product previews into their online stores, as well as a 3D model viewer, and a portal for managing and storing 3D models.
CGTrader is prepared to support retailers across the mobile web platforms as well. The 3D models generated through ARsenal are compatible with AR Quick Look in Apple's ARKit (which uses the USDZ format) as well as the new Scene Viewer on Google's ARCore (which works with the open-sourced gITF format).
"Working with retailers and brands to bring augmented reality experiences to their online shoppers, we see that they are eager to adopt AR to keep up with buyers' expectations, but often lack the internal resources and expertise to implement it," said Dalia Lasaite, CEO of CGTrader, in a statement. "With the introduction of CGTrader ARsenal, we are making it possible for any retailer to offer their customers feature-rich, full augmented reality with minimal effort, which we believe will lead to widespread industry AR adoption."
Of course, CGTrader isn't providing this tool altruistically. The company provides ARsenal via a flexible subscription plan, with rates varying based on monthly volume, as well as customer's budget.
As its pilot customer, CGTrader has lined up a retailer from a sector that is among the early adopters of augmented reality. Specializing in beanbags, casual furniture retailer Fatboy is following in the footsteps of Ikea, Amazon, Target, Houzz, Pottery Barn, and others who have employed augmented reality to preview couches, chairs, tables, and the like.
"Augmented reality with a turnkey approach is the perfect solution to enable our customers to experience our products online and accurately visualize how they will look in their home environment," said Tom de Vos, e-commerce director for Fatboy. "CGTrader ARsenal solution is a great fit for us, as it will help accelerate our rollout of AR with minimal effort and resources while capturing the unique beauty of our premium products."
ARsenal rounds out the company's 3D modeling services, which include CGTrader Marketplace, a self-service portal of more than 800,000 3D models for retailers to license, and CGTrader Enterprise 3D Modeling, a 2D-to-3D conversion solution for larger-scale operations.
As the demand for augmented reality grows, so too does the need for development tools and 3D content repositories for deploying those experiences. With its suite of services, CGTrader is positioned to provide 3D models for any size retailer.