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April 15, 2021 08:00 AM

What Is Augmented Reality App Development? An Introduction to AR App Development

Introduction to AR Development
Businesses are in constant need to research and adopt newer technologies since there is a constant effort to coordinate the digital world with the physical world. In this light, emerging technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT) and Augmented Reality (AR) are helping us to bridge the gap between the digital and physical worlds. It has taken quite some time for AR to have recognition. However, as mobile devices have become more robust in recent years due to the rapid technological advancements, we are starting to see AR take off across business verticals. This article will give you a brief introduction to augmented reality and how to develop an AR app. Let us get started!

In this article,

What Is Augmented Reality?

In vanilla terms, Augmented Reality (AR) is an enhanced version of the physical world achieved through the use of elements like graphics, sound, and video to deliver an augmented experience to the user. Augmented Reality technology aids developers to project digital information on top of real-world objects.

AR technology is past its infancy phase and is already making its mark across sectors like education, training, travel, and fashion.

AR is changing how people consume content, whether they are learning about history in a classroom or playing a video game.

Types of AR

There are various types of augmented reality in use today. These are the two main types of AR you can use to deliver exceptional mobile solutions.

Marker-Based AR

Marker-based AR needs a static image (QR codes or other distinct images) that acts as a trigger to deliver the AR experience. A user can scan the static picture (marker or trigger photo) using their mobile device with the aid of an AR app. Upon scanning the marker using an AR app, the additional digital content (video, animation, etc.) will appear on top of the trigger photo. It is generally used for marketing and retail purposes.

Example: AR business cards.

Markerless AR

As the name suggests, markerless AR does not use markers. It works by scanning the environment and places digital elements on surfaces.

Example: Games like Pokemon Go brings virtual Pokemons to our world through your smartphones.

Geo AR

Geo AR uses a person's geographical data to present predetermined augmented content. Again, Pokemon Go used Geo AR to create Pokemons at various destinations, which the users had to catch. It was this feature that made Pokemon Go a huge hit.

Projection- and Superimposition-Based AR

Projection-based AR uses light rays to project visual elements on the real world. Microsoft's recent advancements using Mixed Reality to create interactive holograms is an excellent example of projection-based AR. Superimposition AR recognizes objects in the real world and enhances them to provide alternative views to the users. This is very relevant to the user as they can create their reality and "check" if it fits within their expectations. Snapchat's facial features and 3D messaging are good examples of superimposition AR.

How to Develop an Augmented Reality App?

Creating mobile applications with newer technologies like Augmented Reality can be challenging. But with proper research and knowledge, proficiency in modern technologies becomes easier. Here are a few things to consider while developing an Augmented Reality application.

  • Envision - Come up with an idea to enhance your business and analyze whether AR can provide a possible solution.
  • Explore - Take a deep dive into the market and learn about the different Software Development Kits (SDK) and platforms available for AR app development.
  • Elect - Opt for the platform that suits your budget and expertise. Some platforms require a deep understanding of programming languages like C++, Java, or C#. If programming is not your forte, choose existing platforms in the market that can help novices.
  • Enact - Augmented Reality apps superimpose 3D models over real-time objects. You can use existing models or learn how to create them yourself. Make your User Interface (UI) unsophisticated.

Best Augmented Reality App Development Tools

While developing an AR app, choosing the correct SDK is crucial. Let us explore some of the best options available in the market.

1. Vuforia

  • Supported Platforms: Android, iOS, Universal Windows Platform, and Unity Editor.
  • Pricing: It is available for free but includes watermarks and offers limited features. However, you can buy a paid subscription if you are a professional user. Vuforia proffers a wide range of functionalities for AR development.

2. ARKit

  • Supported Platforms: This AR development SDK was designed exclusively for iOS by Apple and works on iOS 11 or newer.
  • Pricing: It is available for free. ARKit is one of the best options if you are considering Apple platforms to launch your AR app.

3. Wikitude

  • Supported Platforms: Android, iOS, Windows, and Unity.
  • Pricing: It is available for free and offers powerful features compared to free versions of other SDKs. However, the free version includes a watermark.

What Is the Best Way to Go About AR App Development?

AR was a rare phenomenon a decade ago. However, with the recent pandemic, AR is continuing to permeate all walks of life. Soon, AR would become as ubiquitous as the mobile phone is today. Creating an AR application requires an entire team to be involved.

This would require

  • Business Analysts to do a deep dive on analysis of various market segments involved
  • A solution architect to envisage the application and provide overall direction
  • Seasoned graphic artists and UX specialists to provide compelling designs for the application
  • Front-end and back-end developers to make the design come alive
  • Testing team to check all code for bugs
  • Content team to craft compelling micro copy for the app
  • Team of project managers to ensure seamless delivery

Creating such a team from scratch would require a million dollars. It is not just the initial investment that matters here, but also frequent code updating as and when Google and Apple update their operating systems, which is a cause of concern. But why reinvent the wheel at an astronomical cost?

Concluding Thoughts

The right thing to do is to strategize how your organization can quickly leverage this technology at a fraction of the cost. At HoloPundits, we have proven expertise and a dedicated team of veterans in place who are at the top of their game. We will work with you and ask the right questions so you can decide on the best way ahead and thereby save on time and money.

Contact us for a free consultation on your AR App Development needs

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