Augmented Reality, the perspective altering technology has been in the news for all the right reasons. To begin with, it is proclaimed to be the next big technology that will change the way we look at information seen through our smartphones and wearables.
The AR market is estimated to size up around $90 Billion by 2020. Microsoft, Apple, BMW, Volvo and several other global tech giants are on the works of creating augmented reality apps that will elevate the user experience and revenue monetization of their existing and future product line.
What is an Augmented Reality app?
Augmented Reality is basically a technology that overlays digital information like graphical snippets or textual information over real-world objects when seen through a smartphone or wearable.
Augmented Reality apps are mobile applications that help view such information. There are two kinds of Augmented Reality apps:
- Location based
- Marker based
Location based augmented reality apps provide contextual information that the user’s device collects from that specific location. For instance, an augmented reality app overlays location information, navigational directions, rich snippets, etc.
Marker based Augmented reality apps on the other hand work based on markers or patterns like QR codes or brand symbols that are overlaid above real-world objects. For instance, a brand logo imprinted on a restaurant menu that can be scanned using a smartphone to collect reward points.
Both Location and marker based augmented reality apps throw open the doors to maximum user engagement for software developers and marketers. It blurs the gap between physical world and the virtual world and forges the experience of a whole new merged world that entertains, engages and even educates.
Augmented Reality App development – A new reality in the making
Ever since the concept of Augmented Reality came into existence, the number of augmented reality development companies have swelled up tremendously. These companies usually develop augmented reality app that superimpose images or graphical snippets above real-time images or objects.
These companies bank on image processing prowess like 3D modelling & vision to create augmented reality objects.
Not every Augmented Reality app development company will be able to create apps that can sustain user engagement as well as exploit revenue channels. Companies that have specific expertise in developing mobile apps that combine several technical intricacies like location, markers, etc. can only achieve success.
The building blocks of AR apps
However, developers are still making use of 3rd party SDKs for developing augmented reality apps for Android, iOS or any platform for that matter. AR app development SDKs like Wikitude, HandyAR, Vuforia, Layar, ARToolKit, LinceoVR, NyARToolkit, SketchUp are some which are providing iOS and Android AR app developers a chance to overlay multimedia data for AR experience via apps.
iOS developers will soon have good news as Apple is gearing up with its own SDK to build augmented reality apps for iPhone, iPad and other devices since acquiring Metaio, the 3rd party SDK for developing augmented reality apps on iOS.
Cost to build an augmented reality app
The cost to build an augmented reality app is one of the areas which need some air to be cleared. Both businesses and end users think augmented reality is a pricey affair.
In reality, the cost to build an augmented reality app is based on the multimedia content which you want to render in the AR experience and the medium (smartphones, smart glasses etc.,). Augmented Reality overlays can be simple text information and can go up to 3D graphics, or even better in some cases.
As we all know here is no such definite cost for building any app. It purely depends on the features that determine the scope of the project and complexity in development.
On an average, the developer cost for a augmented reality app would start somewhere around $25 USD at the least and may go up to $140 USD per hour.
It is hard to find a perfect player but not impossible. Go for a experienced player and find out the AR experiences they have created so far as it would give you a clear picture on how appropriate will their team be to develop your augmented reality app.