App-less AR, or app-less Augmented Reality is the use of Augmented Reality technology without the need for a dedicated application to function. Otherwise known as Web AR, app-less AR is the more user-friendly version of AR technology.
Why is it more user-friendly?
App-less AR doesn’t force users to navigate to the App Store or Google Play Store to download a 3rd party application, just to view a piece of Augmented Reality content.
Instead, users can activate the experience with their native iOS or Android camera using a QR code, which automatically launches the phone's native browser (typically either Safari, Google Chrome or Samsung Internet Browser).
Alternatively, it can be used without a QR code, and instead, prompt the user to manually type a short URL into their mobile web browser.
The Augmented Reality experience can be viewed directly from within the native smartphone browser. This user journey consists of around 2-3 taps of the phone, rather than the 10-15 taps required by app-based Augmented Reality experiences
See the video of the Vodafone app-less AR direct mail piece that was sent out to existing customers for a clear visual on the user journey, and to see how quick and easy it really is to launch the Augmented Reality experience. You can also check out a selection of the best WebAR experiences launched in the past year over on the Aircards blog.