Augmented Reality Application Development
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Augmented Reality Application Development

  • Xenia Liashko
  • 2019-12-17 16:02:17

What is the augmented reality app and how do you create it? Augmented and virtual reality was nothing more than a theory when the term was coined for the first time in 1990. Boeing researcher Tom Caudell came up with the idea when Star Trek: The Next Generation introduced holodeck, a fictitious immersive virtual reality environment.

Now we're closer to immersing virtual reality than ever before. Augmented reality already affects application development. One of the most successful and well-known AR applications on the market was Pokemon Go in 2016.

Pokemon Go caught the world's attention and quickly brought together AR brands such as Starbucks and T-Mobile. It is a mobile game developed and published by Niantic for devices with iOS and Android, known for breaking world records in terms of downloading and revenues from applications. Launched in 2016, Pokemon Go currently has 900 million downloads in September 2018 and is estimated at $ 1.2 billion in revenue, according to Apptopia.

However, Pokemon Go is not the only discernible player on the augmented reality market. According to experts surveyed by the BBC, current market value estimates assume $ 162 billion in 2024. Revenues from AR equipment and services currently amount to approximately USD 54 billion and are growing rapidly.

Augmented reality is big business. But what does this mean for application development companies?

What is Augmented Reality (AR)

AR is not virtual reality (VR). Unlike VR, which is addictive and usually requires a headset such as Oculus Rift, application developers and companies can use AR to embed digital information about real objects. You can hire a guide in museums and galleries around the world - usually on a device the size of an old cell phone or a walkman with headphones.

Imagine downloading an app instead and displaying it at exhibitions for more information. Thanks to AR, it's a kind of rich experience that your company can offer to customers if you have a product or service that uses a digital overlay of new and interesting information. AR is already affecting application development around the world, and companies in sectors as diverse as real estate, finance and healthcare are asking for AR levels and are expanding their applications.

Unlike VR, augmented reality is more accessible and customers don't have to buy something new. Anyone who owns a camera smartphone can access AR technology. Enabling location-based services is helpful but not necessary. Companies that are considering AR within or next to mobile offers can implement two versions.

Location-based AR

Location-based and tag-based are two versions of AR that can be implemented in applications. It uses location - as the name suggests - geolocation data on phones to directly affect the AR experience in the application. For example, this usually means that users can physically interact with the world and use the extended digital overlay wherever they are. This way, you can offer your clients a comprehensive city, museum or gallery tour, or help someone find a place where they parked in a busy city.

To be able to use location-based AR, users would need to enable the sharing of geographical location data with the application.

Marker-based AR

Based on markers is slightly different. Instead of relying on geographic data, tag-based applications rely on patterns and interaction with the smartphone's camera. For example, when the application is opened and someone directs the smartphone camera to the QR code or trademark icon, a digital information overlay is created in the real world.

Overlaying information with markers offers great potential to marketing professionals. Now you can combine digital marketing and point of sale with physical promotions and local activities. The combination of these elements creates a powerful and effective game-changer. This can even work if the subject is animated.

Providing a user interface for a physical object, such as clothing or a restaurant meal, provides brands with new creative ways to improve the business experience, improve customer service, and increase sales.

Industries that would benefit from AR

Of course, AR will not work for every sector. For example, banks need mobile applications and money transfer applications, but do financial customers want comprehensive service? Probably not. One of the challenges in developing AR and VR products and services is to ensure that business justification matches reality.

There are, however, several areas in which the AR offer - or adaptation of an already popular application - makes sense. In any industry or company where customers would benefit from a better user experience or more interactive provision of information, AR should be considered.

Entertainment 

Entertainment is the sector that makes the most of AR and VR technologies. Many brands can improve their offer thanks to AR experience or customize an already popular game with augmented reality technology. Consider how your game can benefit from a combination of physical and digital worlds. Games containing missions and travels would be ideal for an AR experience that would open the door to brand collaboration and additional sources of revenue.

Retail 

In the UK, EU and US stationary retailers have problems. Too many major brands and retailers have closed in recent years, so this is a passing trend. One level, as shown by the latest data from Black Friday and Cybernetic Monday, attracts more people online than ever before. At a different level, retailers have difficulty adjusting the store's experience to contemporary consumers.

AR is a disposable seller who can combine digital technology with physical experience. Provide your mobile customers with an even better experience.
Instead of looking for offers for similar products or trying on an outfit and then buying it online from a competitor (which is now more common), you can tell them more about the product, offer it and create sales opportunities. Make your retail sale even more enjoyable without investing a fortune in physical displays. This not only gives customers what they want but also means that retailers can adapt faster, with significantly less time between the development and implementation of an AR display than with physical changes. Make your retail sale even more enjoyable without investing a fortune in physical displays.

Education

Educational experiences for students of all ages can be more intense. Students already use tools and applications to learn on smartphones and tablets, thanks to which the impressions of AR become a small step on an already driven street. Imagine learning history, science, and art for the benefit of AR?

For example, in a medical school, the VR science center in Pomona, California can accommodate microscopic medical students in the human body. It provides a more unforgettable and immersive experience than just reading about cell phones and watching movies. Education can and will greatly benefit from AR because education providers can create content that students accept more easily than traditional learning methods.

Tourism 

Tour operators can use AR in many ways. As part of your sales experience, you can help customers check what they offer. Facilitates the sale of a city, region or resort. And when you reach your destination, AR applications can provide travelers with more information and rich experiences that enhance the quality of their vacation.

Some applications already use AR as part of tourism. For example, Word Lens translates characters into English and several other languages ​​when the smartphone's camera points to the character. In Great Britain, Historic Cities introduce tourists to the history of fascinating cities and give them a historical guide. Thanks to such applications, AR can also be an ideal gateway to combine brands and advertising, creating hyperlocal opportunities and offers that would not be possible without a site or marker-based AR.

Real Estate

Similarly, commercial and residential property sellers and property owners can use AR to sell the benefits of real estate. Embedding AR on websites and applications provides potential buyers/tenants with a three-dimensional view of real estate, the surrounding area, and the city without leaving their home or office. Several applications are already leading clients through real estate, and several real estate companies consider this an important part of sales and marketing campaigns in 2019.

These are just a few ways companies can use augmented reality applications.

One of the challenges of augmented reality is finding the right business case and finding the right way to integrate AR with your company's services. When considering this, consider the following points, including possible cost implications.

How to Develop Augmented Reality (AR) applications

Augmented reality applications depend on several factors: they need to know if AR integration is location-based or tag-based, and can perform specific image processing functions. In almost all cases, the AR application overlaps the digital content in real-time. Matching physical and digital content is one of the major challenges in developing AR applications.

A key element of this challenge is to make sure that the user interface is tailored to the user's needs, otherwise, there is a risk that the application will not be useful for those who download it. Keep your AR experience simple and intuitive. Complex and awkward will stop people from using it.

Developing apps requires a variety of skills that are rarely found in mobile development teams. You also need to work with mobile app developers, but you also need expertise such as 3D modeling, computer vision, and imaging. One or more specialized designers/developers need to provide these capabilities as they work with app developers to integrate the AR capabilities into a new or current app that is being modified.

Developing apps requires a variety of skills that are rarely found in mobile development teams. These platforms include ARPA SDKs, DroidAR (for Android), Metaio SDK, Vuforia SDK, Wikitude SDK, and ARLab SDK. Almost all have support for iOS, Android, Google Glass, Windows, and Unity. This makes it easier to get started creating an AR app using a community and many useful tools. Accepting AR can add value to your customer interactions

Let us consider what it costs to create and deploy AR in an app.

How Much Does the AR-Development Cost?

Although there are several options when implementing AR technology, here are three of the most popular options and the cost of working with a development team in Eastern Europe.

  1. Basic implementation of the gyroscope. Take an app without AR. Add a feature that uses a smartphone's camera to place digital or 3D objects around a user. This is called a gyroscope format. This is one of the easiest and fastest ways to integrate AR into an app. This work can take between 150 and 250 hours.
  2. SLAM (Simultaneous Localization and Mapping). By using multiple sensors on a device or at a specific location, an exact location for an object can be defined. With an AR app, you can use SLAM to position a 3D object exactly in a new location, which is useful for Ikea and other furniture retailers. Such work can take between 250 and 500 hours depending on the complexity of the products.
  3. Location-based AR. One of the most popular formats also involves a lot of work and the use of multiple technologies. Creating a location-based AR app involves working with GPS, Wi-Fi, and compass, as well as creating 3D tools and digital content to create the information overlay. This can take between 400 and 800 hours.

Develop an AR App: Central Theses

Consumers are more than ever ready to use immersive AR technology. Companies in many industries can benefit from this growing trend. Creating experiences that combine digital with physical experiences will take your customer experience to a whole new level and create exciting new revenue and advertising opportunities.

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