In late July, VentureBeat reported on plans by eBay to make no-code/low-code 3D modeling tools available to sellers. As someone who spends much of their time thinking about and working with teams to develop this type of technology - and helping ecommerce merchants of every type sell more effectively - the story caught our attention.
It is not surprising that a legacy ecommerce platform as established as eBay has made the decision to try this. They, like Amazon, Wayfair, Shopify, BigCommerce and a host of others, need to provide more effective ways for their sellers to reach customers. Given the positive net impact of 3D and AR technologies, how could they not? At Nextech AR Solutions, we love working with these kinds of companies.
The tools eBay is describing - the type of no-code/low-code approach we use in ARitize 3D Configurator - requires only a couple of product photos. The technology is able to extrapolate and map the entire product onto a scalable 3D model thanks to its advanced AI. This is the easiest of three approaches for creating 3D models. The others are photogrammetry (a scan of a physical object using LiDAR or similar technologies), and CAD-to-Poly conversion (which uses design/engineering data to generate a model). Nextech AR Solutions offers products that support each of these approaches.
It is a good thing that these various approaches are available since there are very different methods for creating and using 3D models. In the case of eBay, for example, sellers in most cases own and host the products they sell. The fact that they have physical possession of each item makes 2D conversion a sensible approach.
In another example, Shopify sellers can be either D2C or drop shippers. They may, or may not, have access to the physical products they are selling. For them, providing an image of the product is enough to create a detailed 3D model. With the ARitize 3D Shopify app, shoppers can scale a product, customize it, and view it in their own environment.
At an entirely different scale, manufacturers and companies like Amazon, are centralizing the production and management of 3D assets. Almost every product that is made is created by industrial designers - you can imagine a time when 3D models, based on original product specifications - will be part of any product package that is delivered to a retailer or distributor.
Amazon is doing something similar, but from a slightly different direction. They are going into their vast product portfolio to create 3D assets of existing items. For commodity products, having a single, customizable reference model that all sellers can access - rather than every seller creating their own - just makes sense.
What eBay is describing makes sense, too - as a concept. Providing sellers of unique physical objects with the tools to create 3D models is an excellent thing. Etsy, too, seems like a natural environment for using 3D and AR to make products come to life. The moral of the story: you have to give these types of merchants the tools to create the 3D assets for themselves.
3D is relevant to all kinds of use cases and many retail models. From manufacturers to aggregators to sellers of one-of-a-kind items, 3D and AR are creating more engaging product experiences.
At Nextech AR Solutions, we have been laser focused on democratizing this technology so it can be used by one and all. To learn more, talk to one of our experts.