Surface Tracking

Learn how to show a 3D model in your users' real world surroundings.

Jens Bäckvall avatar
Written by Jens Bäckvall
Updated over a week ago

Increase Sales and Boost User Experience with Virtual Try-It-at-Home

Sometimes you want to show an object, such as a chair, a car, a kitchen appliance or something completely different to a potential buyer, and let them see it in their own home, increasing the chance of them purchasing the item.

IKEA made this possible with the IKEA Place App, which was of course only able to showcase their own furniture.

But you can now create your own miniature web-based version of this, showcasing any product or 3D model that you want to, by using the Hololink Surface Tracking feature.

How Does a Surface Tracking Scene work in Hololink?

A surface tracking scene let's a user place a 3D model in their own space. This could be a piece of furniture, a kitchen appliance or even an animated life-size version of a favourite pop-star or actor.

Each scene has a small box at the bottom of the screen, where you can add a short sentence and a clickable link, letting the user go directly from the surface tracking scene to a webshop, where they can buy the object in question, or maybe to a website where they can buy concert tickets.

Important Things to Know About setting up a Surface Tracking Scene

  • For surface tracking scenes to work optimally, add a 360 scene or image tracking scene as the starting scene. Then link from this scene to the surface tracking scene through a button click or other user interaction.

  • Surface tracking scenes do NOT have an interface, so you cannot edit this in a surface scene.

  • Surface tracking scenes use 2 versions of the same model in 2 different formats. One in .glb and one in .usdz format

  • You can't import models directly from Sketchfab into a surface tracking scene. If you want to use a Sketchfab model, you will need to go to the Sketchfab website and download the model in both .glb and .usdz format. You can then upload them to your surface tracking scene

Works perfectly on both iOS and Android

We've made sure that your creations will be shown perfectly on both of the most popular mobile operating systems, by asking you to upload 3D models in the formats that each OS prefers.

These are:

  • For iOS: .USDZ

  • For Android: .GLB

Creating a Surface Tracking Scene

What you need

As mentioned above, before you can create your Surface Tracking Scene, you will need your 3D model in both .usdz and .glb format. It is important that the model is exported in the correct size from your 3D software of choice, as your users will see it in this size.

  1. Start by adding a Surface Tracking Scene.

  2. This scene cannot be edited in the same way as other scenes. This means that there is no preview of the scene in the editor, but only a form where you can upload 3D models and add your link (URL) and text for the link. As such, you have the following choices.

    • Add a .glb version of your model by clicking in the "No file selected" box under GLB

    • Add a .usdz version of your model by clicking in the "No file selected" box under USDZ

    • Add a call to action for a button that can take your user to a url of your choice, by writing a Call to action text in the designated field

    • Add the URL for the button mentioned above in the URL field

    • (for iOS) Add a headline for a description box in the designated field

    • (for iOS) Add a description for the box mentioned above in the designated field

      Once you've added the models and filled in the fields, your scene should look something like the image below:

  3. Once you have added the things above, you can preview your Hololink, to see your 3D object in your space. Do this as you would do with any Hololink, by clicking on the preview button at the top right of the editor screen.

Add as many Surface Tracking Scenes as you Need

You can add as many surface tracking scenes as you want, but remember that 3D models are large and adding many of them to the same Hololink, may impair the loading time of your Hololink.

To learn more about optimising the size of your 3D models, read this article.

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