Augmented Reality App Development: Process, Features, Cost etc

Augmented reality app development is experiencing a greater demand, considering that current equipment is capable of reproducing images, colors and sound to a degree where it is possible for people to interact with everyday objects.

Augmented reality technology was first created by Ivan Sutherland, a computer scientist at Harvard, in 1968. He developed the head-mounted display that is now used to manipulate our environment. Due to limited knowledge and a lack of resources at that time, he could achieve this only to a certain degree. Since then, augmented reality has quickly transformed into a viable solution in the marketplace, with other scientists making their own discoveries which have eventually led to what we have today as AR technology. 

How Augmented Reality Works

Much like a hologram, augmented reality (AR) overlays graphics on top of the real world, so that the real world seems to change to resemble a video game. Users can have the ultimate experience with augmented reality apps by simply pointing their smartphone at a real-world environment and selecting the relevant features through the device’s touch-screen. Headsets are also being widely used along with smartphone apps. The user’s video-game mindset also takes over, causing their hands to shift in the direction they are looking and manipulate objects. 

Augmented Reality Trends

The future of AR has been something of a sci-fi fantasy for some time now, with a first mover like Google Glass yet to become mainstream. However, with a surge in interest in consumer virtual reality in recent years, as well as companies like Apple and Microsoft investing in related technologies, the days of glasses may well be numbered.

Tools For iOS and Android

ARKit for Apple is one of the leading augmented reality SDKs (Software Development Kits) for iOS. Thanks to ARKit, you can build augmented reality experiences for iPhone and iPad, including games, education, travel, and more. ARKit also offers a path to bringing augmented reality to millions of existing iOS devices by enabling developers to bring augmented reality to any device with Apple’s A9 chip or later. Apple’s commitment to the iOS developer community goes beyond just ARKit. Its platform and ecosystem are highly optimized for developers to build the future of apps and games for iOS and macOS. ARKit can only be used for iOS development.

However, there are many other SDKs for Android development as well, one of the leading ones being Vuforia. Vuforia is a simulator with a native API that lets you create amazing 3D visuals by using an iPad or Android phone as a sighted device. This is great for developing both AR and VR applications.

Before you start using any of these SDKs, you need to add the correct permissions, know the API, add appropriate labels for buttons and media, etc. 

You also want to make sure that the SDK being used to develop your AR app allows for the following:

  • 3D recognition and tracking
  • Smart glasses integration
  • Image recognition and tracking
  • Location-based services

Cost of Building an AR App

The cost of developing an AR app ranges between $25K and $200K depending on the complexity of the technology used. So it is likely that a tech company will have multiple solutions with different price ranges and development times, but with the same ultimate goal to improve the customer experience.

Aside from the usual development cost (software development costs), security and battery life also have to be considered when discussing the topic of AR app costs. 

The Future of AR Technology

Augmented reality has yet to be defined in terms of a mass appeal for consumers. But for developers and researchers, it presents a huge opportunity to reach and test out applications that are in-demand in the market. For the longest time, consumers related AR technology to games such as Pokemon Go. Now, when we think of this technology, we can easily recall coming across it in our everyday lives whether it is online shopping or television broadcasting. Digi-Capital projects 3.5 billion mobile augmented reality users by 2022, and this will not be limited to games only. AR technology will soon take over various aspects of our lives along with other emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning. 


Contact us to discuss ways to scale your business with augmented reality app development while improving operations and costs.

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