If you’re still being dilatory with the decision to get real with Augmented Reality (AR), this article might just be the gentle kick you need. The market is currently valued at almost $2.5 billion and is projected to exceed the $61 billion mark within the next 5 years. With steady technological advancement in computer graphics, User Interface, and hardware components, you cannot afford to miss out on this opportunity.
Augmented Reality facilitates the integration of real-life and simulated environments, enhancing the user’s viewing experience. Several industries will be impacted by this technology as its application extends to manufacturing, education, sales and marketing, entertainment, etc.
Since AR involves the synergy of several elements such as speech, gestures, and sensor data, developers require access to toolkits that really matter. Basically, you should look out for tools which are affordable, functional and easy to use.
These app development platforms are either location-based or marker-based. For location-based, the features of mobile phones which provide information on position and location, e.g. GPS, cellular network, are utilized.
Meanwhile, patterns are identified from the image or objects obtained from the device (cloud or local storage) for marker-based development. To save you the stress of researching the internet for these toolkits, a compilation of some of the best tools are presented here.
This is arguably the most popular AR application and it is supported on platforms such as Android, iOS, UWP, and Unity Editor. This software is particularly functional for recognizing visual objects (2D and 3D), texts, pictures, and environments.
Vuforia comes with a preinstalled object scanner which allows you scan targeted objects. It also allows the seamless integration of several plugins. Meanwhile, swift processing is available on both the local and cloud storage; making it more accessible and faster. Even though all these features are available for free, the functionalities include Vuforia watermarks. Unlimited access costs $99 per month or a one-time payment of $499.
Unlike Vuforia, only Android and iOS platforms are supported. Kudan is perfect for 3D augmented content, with the marker-based and marker-less tracking allowing the exact simulation of the actual size and features of the real-world environment. It is also very agile and can either be embedded in the chipset or in a head-mounted display.
Even though it has been touted as Vuforia’s main competition, it is a tool well-suited for marketers. The Crash Editor (Kudan’s editor) lives up to its name; with users complaining of constant app crashing. Besides, issues with the test license key installation remain prevalent. The license costs $1230, while the free version only allows you test apps.
With a SLAM-based technology which allows excellent recognition and tracking of images, Wikitude is that AR tool with an attitude. The backend is well suited for working with geo-referenced data and the tech also allows images to be saved in the cloud.
It can be used for smart glasses, Android, and iOS, and the pricing starts from €1990. Unity Editor is not supported and this might make the development process difficult.
Two tech giants; Apple and Google announced that the release of frameworks for Augmented Reality development is ongoing. ARKit and ARCore, belonging to Apple and Google respectively, are expected to serve as the harbinger of more experimentation and development of AR tech. Unlike other toolkits, these apps are expected to be totally free!
Right now, any business without a website or social media page is seen as obsolete or archaic. Similarly, in a couple of years, business applications without emphasis on user experience through Augmented Reality risk obscurity. Why not make that change now?
With the rise in popularity of AR as a buzzword, the primary reason for entities to jump into this bandwagon would be FOMO. (Well we don’t explain that FOMO is the Fear of Missing Out, it’s in fact a little older than AR). But it’s all good to cash in on this opportunity, there is a huge risk of losing out all your development dollars if it isn’t scoped out right.
Biztruss understands and helps you understand the AR/VR space and how best you can build or customize a solution using the right platforms with the right architecture. Whether it be living in the today with markerless AR or utilizing the practical advantages of a marker based AR, whether you are creating an interactive gaming application or a gamified navigation system or an improved sensory experience for your shopping, Biztruss helps you understand the nuts and bolts of how best it can be done in terms of development and implementation
AR is more than a conversation starter, it is a conversation that could last. We’d love to talk to you and listen to you about your experiences with this nifty little innovation.
Till we get our hands back on to the keypad or dip some ink back into our pens for the next piece, live your reality in real or virtual, the way you like it.
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