What is Augmented Reality (AR)?
If you keep your hand on pulse with the latest technology trends, then you have probably encountered such thing as augmented reality, be it in the news headlines or anywhere else.
Augmented reality is such a technology that enhances user experience in the most incredible way. To put it simple, it gives app developers and business owners to “overlay” some digital data over the objects of the real world.
Though being favoured mostly by the gaming industry, augmented reality shows inevitable proof that it can be useful in a variety of other niche apps.
Another great thing is that today everyone can enjoy this latest technology trend because the only thing you need is usually your smartphone with camera access to it.
So let’s get into details on why and how augmented reality works and how you can make your own AR application.
Types and Forms of Augmented Reality Apps
The first thing to consider when speaking about AR is that augmented reality apps come in two distinctive types: location-based augmented reality apps and marker-based apps.
Location-based augmented reality apps
Location-based augmented reality applications use geographical location and camera to provide exact data about the surroundings. This contextual data is made possible to every person due to the camera capabilities of each smartphone. You can place virtual labels of street names right in real-time mode, for example, just not to get lost.
The simplest, probably, example of a location-based AR app is the famous game Pokemon GO, which analyzes user’s location and surroundings to place virtual characters in front of you.
Marker-based augmented reality apps
Marker-based AR apps differ completely from the location-based ones. The main reason for that is that marker-based apps do not need your GPS location to interact with the surroundings from your camera.
These applications co-work with your camera to distinguish particular well-known patterns and identify them. The example of such pattern is a QR code which we scan and then immediately receive the corresponding information by decoding it.
This technology can be of many great uses, beginning with direction giving and up to such complicated data analysis as defining the name of the plants in your house by their appearance.
Marker-based AR has found its path in the beauty industry as well, where augmented reality is used to give you a makeup try-on in online mode. The technology puts the digital overlay (virtual makeup product) directly on the recognized 3D pattern (face).
Now you see why marker-based AR apps made such a big fuss in practically every business sphere.
Markerless augmented reality apps
It is possible to distinguish the third type of an augmented reality application. Markerless AR apps. This is an AR option which doesn’t require any major anchoring to the real world so to say. It doesn’t require any GPS location to place a virtual character in the surroundings.
Perhaps one of the most prominent examples of markerless augmented reality apps is IKEA’s Place application, which makes it possible to place an object (a piece of furniture in our case) into your room before even buying it. Thanks to its 3D modelling, IKEA Place allows you to project the interior of your home without worrying too much about the dimensions, the style of a piece of furniture, and other dreadful things.
How and why to develop augmented reality apps
When you’ve decided that you need an augmented reality app, the first thing you need to understand about AR is that this technology demands access to image processing expertise. With this image access, your app will be able to capture and analyze the patterns of the real-world environment.
If your programme will be mostly about generating new images on top of the real-world objects or environment, then you should think thorougly about making these images credible and realistic.
Another thing to consider is the proportions of the 3D image (like in the case with IKEA Place). Developing the imagery correctly aligned with the real-world environment can be extremely tricky but of course possible. Failed UX or UI will result in an app of little worth. It will be simply hard to use it.
It is a well-known fact that AR and VR technology industry has been growing rapidly for the recent years. From the UX point of view, the best option for you will be developing a moderately simple and intuitive app. The app needs to solve the user’s problems, not to make the additional ones.
But apart from the image processing technology, there are other things to understand in the AR development process. That’s why we advise you to get professional outsourcing app, like ZenBit Tech.
Deciding that your business or brand needs augmented reality technology means that you are in a constant pursuit of cutting-edge technologies and that you always look for new opportunities. An augmented reality app can bring you great profit and revenue flow. But in order to make your business flourish, you need to clearly understand why you need to develop an augmented reality app.
How to develop my augmented reality application?
Since the demand for augmented reality is growing fast, there are already lots of businesses which want to enter this niche and make a profit. That’s why the best way to scale and kickstart your AR application is to give it into the hands of the professional outsourcing company. The developers will not only build it for you but also keep you out of time wasting worries.
To sum up, augmented reality technology is greatly realised in such sectors:
- real estate
- gaming and entertainment
We all know that PokemonGO is probably the most evident example of the deploy of augmented reality in the gaming sector. But what about the others?
Of course, AR has been influencing other industries greatly as well. The most outstanding usage of AR technology is demonstrated by fashion industry.
Business owners understood that the “try before you buy” method is in high demand among the customers who value their time and money. This way, fashion/ retail niche allows customers to “try on” the products before they buy them, even if it is a makeup product.
The 3D overlay helps them make a reasonable decision on whether to buy the product or choose something else. The customers are happy with the purchase, the vendors are happy about not dealing with the personal product issues.
What are the best augmented reality development platforms?
You can develop an AR app for smartphones, tablets and other devices as well. Based on your device choice, there are several platforms that developers should look into for the development purpose.
As of today, these are the best platforms to develop an augmented reality app:
- ARPA SDK
- Metaio SDK
- Wikitude SDK
- ARLab SDK.
As it is seen from the list above, most of these platforms enable to build a cross-platform AR application, suitable for both Android and IOS for example. Since the name is speaking for itself, DroidAR is designed to build an AR application for Android devices only. So, your platform choice will be determined depending on the target device you want your application to run on.
Choosing right technologies to develop an augmented reality app is the main key to building a successful business product, no matter the industry.