Google 3D/AR Search Results Explained

Recently, we at Nextech AR, worked with the 3D/AR Search team at Google to give some of our large clients early access to the Google 3D/AR search program. We provide WebAR/3D to Kohl’s, Pier1, K-Mart Australia and Lighting Plus New Zealand among others and now the thousands of 3D models we have built for them will start appearing in organic Google search results.

In this post, I will explain the history of Google’s work on 3D search and walk you through the current experiences. If you are interested in learning more about our WebAR/3D solution, please contact us at info@threedy.ai

Early Tests

It’s been more than two years since Google announced in its I/O event that it’s beginning to return 3D models and native AR experiences in its organic search results.

They also rolled out a small set of terms that will return a 3D/AR result. (Make sure you run the searches on a mobile phone). This is the screen recording of one of those example on iPhone. Note that the AR experience does not launch native iOS AR experience (i.e., ARKit) and instead launches the Google app.

Google recently added more to the original AR models to honor the athletes in the Tokyo Olympics.

Indexing Select e-Commerce Sites

In the same keynote, it was also said at the time that Google is partnering with NASA, New Balance, Samsung, Target, Volvo and other innovative brands to roll the feature out and we should expect to see results live by the end of 2019.

The search results have indeed been appearing now in organic search for the same clients and the experience is excellent.

Unlike the previous examples, the CTA launches the native ARKit AR experience which on my iPhone 12 is a much better experience. I would have liked the browser to be directed to the product page when the AR experience is closed, but I can also see why Google may want to bring the user back to the same page result.

Finally, note that Google has indexed the same 3D model that Target uses to offer “See it in Your Space” AR experience on its own mobile site.

A Big Deal for the XR Industry

If you are an eCommerce business, this might be the time for you to figure out your 3D/AR strategy as 3D is quickly becoming an integral part of the online presence for major brands. Through a simple JavaScript tag, you can start offering WebAR/3D to your site, and be ready for when AR search becomes generally available by Google. Watch this news release if you would like to learn a bit more about our offering.

CTO, Visual Computing & AI @ Nextech AR

CTO, Visual Computing & AI @ Nextech AR