General WebXR cross platform compatibility questions

Hi All,

I’m still a bit confused with the state of browser WebXR compatibility, confusion which has been compounded because I’ve been unable to get even simple web AR examples to work on my old devices.

I realise the WebXR standard is still in draft and there’s only partial (and constantly evolving) support in the latest Chrome and optionally Firefox by enabling a flag. Safari doesn’t support it at all but iOS 12+ has proprietary AR support via USDZ.

I’m aware there are companies out there like 8th Wall offering/promising no app download, cross platform web-based AR experiences. How are they achieving this if the standard is still in draft? Do they use a polyfill or seamlessly switch between standard WebXR and proprietary USDZ depending on detected platform … or something else?

All I really need currently is simple ground plane detection/tracking, with an interactive scene superimposed. Is there a way to achieve (or fake) this right now with Babylon.js and polyfills that works across Android and iOS?

8thwall processes video frames in the cloud to calculate your 6DoF position. One very limiting thing about them however is that the algo they use to do in in that backend calculates “relative scale” which means you can not get real world scale of position units in their AR experiences ( they mess with the camera matrix to do this ) without using a QR code. There are dozens of people who have tried and failed to get around this, myself included :smiley:

Luckily WebXR is getting ever closer on iOS 208988 – [WebXR] Implement WebXR device API

You can actually build webkit from source right now and already play with it !

If you need real world scale now, I think your only option is using a marker of some kind on iOS. GitHub - AR-js-org/AR.js: Image tracking, Location Based AR, Marker tracking. All on the Web. ( there are others too )

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Thanks for that @br-matt

So by adding AR.js, a webXR polyfill or some other lib, am I able to do rudimentary web AR in both Android and iOS Safari now, or is it still problematic?

No WebXR polyfill sadly ( that I know of anyways ) We are at Apple’s mercy on that one, though they have been finally moving on it :crossed_fingers:

Both can do marker based AR right now. 8thwall allowing cross platform 6DoF but has the scale issue I mentioned. It could be fine for your use case, should look at the pricing as well.

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