Augmented Reality App Development: Extensive Guide [SDKs, MVP, Tech & Business Parts For 2021]
The market of AR solutions is projected to grow from $7.6 billion in 2020 to 29.5 billion by 20025. This makes 31.1% of CAGR growth.
Here is a quick sneak peek of what’s waiting for you inside:
- How Addevice can help you build an augmented reality app
- What AR is and how it’s different from VR
- Key types of augmented reality apps
- Augmented reality tools
- Industries where AR can save the scene
- Step-by-step guide for augmented reality mobile app development
- AR development cost
Let’s uncover how to make an augmented reality app that will be a success in the future.
Addevice’s Experience in Augmented Reality Mobile App Development
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What is Augmented Reality?
Before we uncover how to make an augmented reality app, let’s first get a better understanding of what augmented reality technology is.
Augmented reality can be seen as a link between “virtual” data and the real world. It must have the following three characteristics:
- Combine the real world and virtual data in real time
- Be interactive in real time (a change in the real plane entails an adjustment of the virtual data)
- “See” the world around us in 3D (because we live in three-dimensional space)
Types of Augmented Reality Apps
- Marker-based augmented reality
- Location-based augmented reality
- Projection augmented reality
- Superimposition based augmented reality
Below, we identify how they differ and which technologies are used to build each of them.
Marker-Based Augmented Reality App
Location-Based Augmented Reality
Projection Augmented Reality
Superimposition Based Augmented Reality
Best Tools to Build Augmented Reality App: SDKs & Tech
- native support for AR
- the operating platform it’s targeting
- the programming language in which it’s written
- official SDK support
- license and monetization
Vuforia is one of the most popular augmented reality development SDKs that enable companies to deliver immersive AR experiences to their customers. Thanks to its API accessibility through Unity, Vuforia can be used to develop native apps for iOS and Android. It is also considered a complete SDK with rich feature set for AR applications.
- Real-time identification and tracking of target images, English texts and 3D objects
- Placing virtual objects such as 3D models in a real environment
- Multipurpose 3D configurations
- Vuforia Engine Area Targets with Area Target Generator
- Scanned Model Targets
- Advanced Model Targets – Multiple Model Detection
- Continue working when paused applications
- Simulation mode
- Vuforia Engine Tracking Scale
Wikitude is used to develop mobile apps and AR prototypes. The new Wikitude SDK enables developers to implement geolocation capabilities as well as image tracking and object recognition. Some of its features include:
- 3D recognition and tracking
- Image recognition and tracking
- Cloud recognition
- Location-based AR
- Video overlay
- Smart glasses integration
- Integration with external plugins
Kudan is another universal AR SDK, its main features are described below:
- Location and tracking requirements with and without markers
- 2D and 3D Image recognition
- Fusion Sensor – sensor for detecting white light sources
- Flexible integration
- Universal setting
- Unity SDK
EasyAR is a free AR development tool with support for major mobile platforms. Its SDK allows companies and developers to extend their AR immersion experience with mobile apps. Developers can use EasyAR features depending on the packages purchased:
- EasyAR Basic: Developers can manage workflow, improve APIs, ensure interoperability, video playback, QR code scanning, and comprehensive integration.
- EasyAR Pro: Developers can implement advanced features such as 3D object tracking, screen recording, simultaneous detection and tracking of multiple marker types.
ARKit can be used to create applications for both iPhone and iPad, which have an A9 processor or higher under the hood. It allows developers to design and develop applications that empower each user with a variety of features such as:
- Detect and track 2D images
- Recognizing and placing 3D objects
- Horizontal and vertical plane detection
- Face tracking
- Stable and fast motion tracking
- Scale calculation
Google ARCore is one of the most popular SDKs for building apps for smartphones and tablets. Surprisingly, its AR apps are supported not only on Android but also on iOS devices, allowing cross-platform AR apps to be developed. ARCore is based on two elements: position tracking and object recognition. Some of its standout features include:
- Real-time illumination assessment
- Precise placement of virtual objects
- Easy tracking to create realistic objects
- Sizing and Locating Vertical, Horizontal, and Sloped Surfaces
- Tracking movement according to the position of the phone
|Vuforia||Wikitude||EasyAR||Kudan||Apple ARKit||Google ARcore|
|Platforms||Android, iOS, UWP||Android, iOS||Android, iOS, UWP, macOS||Android, iOS, UWP||iOS||Android, iOS|
|License||Free, Commercial||Commercial||Free, Commercial||Free, Commercial||Free||Free|
|Smart glasses support||+||+||–||–||+||+|
|Programming languages||Kotlin, Java||Swift, Objective-C|
|SDK||Android SDK||iOS SDK|
|Toolkit||Android Studio||Apple Xcode|
Want to build an augmented reality app that will use the latest technology?
How can augmented reality be used in industry?
AR technology offers interesting business solutions. Its use in industry and large enterprises is a matter of several years, but you need to think about its implementation now. Let’s figure out why.
The technology is already actively used in eCommerce and retail. Examples are numerous and include such applications as Fitle developed by Addevice, IKEA app, and even Loreal. The use of AR in eCommerce is already showing the power of its technology since it improves the shopping experience. The technology will probably gain even more traction in eCommerce with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Such apps can be used to help customers to try on clothes, make-up, see how furniture will look in their apartments, and much more.
You can learn more about application development for eCommerce in our exhaustive guide:
|How to Make Online Selling App: Tech & Business Details (2021)|
The use of artificial intelligence in healthcare and medicine has numerous implementations. Today, augmented reality tools for education are already actively used for students’ training, as well as during surgeries and other procedures. Microsoft HoloLens is used to provide doctors with detailed human anatomy understanding to perform better surgeries, tumor identification, blood flow visualization, etc.
- Tourism and travel
Another sphere of use is traveling and tourism. Instead of reading history, tourists could live through historical events by visiting certain locations.
- Entertainment and games
Entertainment is the most promising industry for augmented reality app development. Such solutions can bring an entirely different experience by allowing users to interact with virtual objects in the real world. Pokémon Go is the brightest example of AR games, which over the years generated more than four billion in revenue. We are yet to see some other successful names that will outperform this game.
If you are wondering how to make an augmented reality app that will make a difference, look into education. AR-powered solutions allow students to see virtual objects in the learning environment. One of the possible implementations is the use of special markers inside books that trigger the display of multimedia content.
- Real estate and architecture
This is another industry that can benefit from the use of AR technology. With the help of such applications, specialists can see how their buildings will blend in with the environment and to showcase projects to clients and investors.
The history of augmented reality application development for military purposes started in 1992 by the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory. Today, special goggles can be used, for example, to provide the military with data to help them with ground navigation The number of industries that can benefit from the use of AR is numerous and we are going to see a lot of its technology implementations in the future.
How to Make an Augmented Reality App: Step-by-Step Guide
- Finding a niche and USP
- Business plan creation
- Finding an app development vendor
- Deciding on the app’s functionality
- UX/UI design creation
- Marketing and promotion
- Feedback gathering and planning for growth
Let’s learn how to make an augmented reality app in more detail.
1. Finding a Niche and USP
The first step of augmented reality app development is the vision creation for your future product. This is impossible without knowing your competition, market state, and which niches still have a place for new names. Your action plan can have the following steps:
- Market research – find out about the local market and which applications are popular there.
- Competitors research – learn who will become your competition, learn their strong and weak sides.
- TA research – make a comprehensive analysis of your target audience, its demographics, interests, income, and so on.
- USP creation – based on the collected data, decide which niche you will target and how your application will be different from the competition.
2. Business Plan Creation
After you identify how to make an augmented reality app that will be unique and meet user expectations, you need to create a comprehensive business plan. One of the steps is finding the right monetization model. Today, there are a few models that you can consider:
- Subscription – users buy a subscription for your application. You can provide them with different payment options, such as monthly, quarterly, or yearly subscription payment.
- Advertising – placement of advertisements inside your app can bring significant income. Ads blocking options can be provided at an extra payment.
- Freemium – allow users to enjoy some features of your app for free and ask them to pay if they want to enjoy full functionality.
In case you decide to build an augmented reality app and make it free, check the guide explaining how such apps can make money:
|How do Free Apps Make Money? [Best Strategies for 2021]|
3. Finding an App Development Vendor
The main secret behind successful apps is working with a reliable tech company that knows how to create an augmented reality app. Below you can find some steps explaining how to make the right choice, so make sure not to skip any of them:
- Use such platforms as Clutch, The Manifest, and others to find a company providing augmented reality app development services.
- Experience and professionalism should come first; price should come second.
- Check clients reviews and shortlist companies
- Analyze vendors, compare their expertise, location, etc.
- Get in touch with shortlisted companies for an interview
- Make a decision regarding your future technical partner
The image below demonstrates the process of finding such a company.
If you need some help with finding your partner, check the article prepared by our team explaining the process step by step:
|Outsource App Development in 2021: How to Make It Work|
4. Choose App’s Functionality
This step is very important in augmented reality app development. Together with the vendor, choose the best functionality allowing you to build an augmented reality app according to your business needs. Aside from choosing SDKs and platforms, you might also need to implement some other features described in the table below.
|Push notifications||Twilio Nexmo Plivo Apple Push Notifications Firebase Cloud Messaging|
|Payments||PayPal Stripe Braintree Apple Pay Google Pay|
|Navigation||Google Maps Google Places Google Maps|
|Mailing services||Gmail ZeroBounce Firebase Cloud Messaging SendGrid|
|Social media||Google Facebook Twitter Instagram|
5. UX/UI Design
Design creation is an inseparable part of the augmented reality apps development process. At this stage, together with designers, you will need to work on the user flows, branding, and unique style of your application. Just remember that a copycat solution won’t be able to have a high chance of success. Thus, you need to aim for unique features and their unique visual representation in augmented reality app design.
6. Augmented Reality App Development
This is the main part of the whole journey you are going to endure to create your application. During this stage, front-end and back-end parts of your solution are developed based on the produced design materials. Each implemented feature and technical solution need to be thoroughly tested to avoid problems with the app’s performance, scalability, and reliability.
7. Marketing & Promotion
While the development process is underway, you can start working on your marketing strategy. The main goal here is to spark interest with your target audience by implementing the following marketing approaches:
- Paid ads – will help you get the first users of your application.
- SMM – social media is a place where you can create meaningful and trustworthy relationships with users.
- Influencer marketing – working with bloggers and influencers to connect with multi-million audiences.
- Content marketing & SEO – promotion of your AR application in Google search results through blog posts and other forms of content.
- Events – you can promote your app at live events, conferences, and meetings or become a special sponsor for some event.
- Partnerships – cooperate with other companies for the promotion of your solution through their marketing channels.
8. Feedback Gathering & Growth Planning
Once your application is released to the market, start collecting customer feedback to learn what they think about your application and how it can be improved. After you have a full picture of possible improvements, discuss with your development team how they can be implemented with future updates.
Augmented Reality App Development Cost
If you decide to pursue the idea of augmented reality app development, you need to be ready to invest it ranges from $5,000–$10,000+ for the creation of an app for a single platform (iOS or Android). The final cost depends on a number of factors such as how many platforms you are targeting, to which country you outsource app development, which SDKs and functionality you are going to implement. The cost can reach $500,000 and even go far beyond this sum.
Augmented reality content creation can eat up a significant part of your budget, especially if you are going to create and real-like environments.
Need help with augmented reality app development and want to know its cost?
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you create an augmented reality application?
- Finding a niche & USP
- Business plan creation
- Finding an app development company
- Choosing the app’s functionality
- UX/UI design
- Marketing & promotion
- Planning for growth
Please note that each of the above steps consists of different substeps. If you want to know how to make an augmented reality app, check our guide.