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    How to Make an AR App – Tips, Best SDK, Pros, Cons, and Pitfalls

    How to Make an AR App – Tips, Best SDK, Pros, Cons, and Pitfalls

    Tracy Watson


    12 min read

    ar games and apps

    Augmented reality is believed to have the greatest potential for mass consumption compared to virtual or mixed reality. This is because AR is compatible with the devices we’ve been using for a long time – smartphones. In addition, AR offers practical everyday use, is considered less restrictive than VR, and does not distract the user from the real world. This is why today, we would like to share with you some tips and other information on how to develop AR apps. Let’s start by taking a look at how AR works. 

    How Does AR Work?

    Augmented reality on phones and tablets is based on the fact that the phone processes information from different sources, thus determining its position in space and placing a virtual object on the screen in accordance with it. Pokemon Go uses GPS, compass, and gyroscope. QR code recognition appeared in the 2000s, and tools for creating AR-based on image tags – in the early 2010s. Instagram has learned to see the face.

    There are three leading technologies for linking digital content to objects in the real world: 

    • Location-bound AR – An AR app connects augmented reality content to a specific location using GPS, compass, or computer vision systems. By recognizing the street, it can display travel information or entertainment content. This is how the well-known Pokemon Go and guide apps work.
    • Markerless AR – This allows you to place a virtual reality object anywhere. One of the world’s most famous commercial AR apps, Ikea Place, does just that. We created a really cool loyalty program called Wizzzi, where this method brings an entire wizard universe to life. 
    augmented reality game-based loyalty program for retailers Wizzzi
    • Marker AR – The application binds digital content to specific tags on a real object. Any unique points of the object can be used as a marker. At the moment, this is the most advanced technology. It is widely used to animate graphic content in art and advertising. It is used to create all kinds of masks for Instagram, TikTok, and others. We recently created an interesting application for Mondelēz International to help them promote one of their most popular snacks, Barni, with this method. 

    What are the Best SDKs for AR Programming

    To create an augmented reality application, you need an AR software development kit (SDK). Below we have reviewed the most popular SDKs: 

    • ARKit – an SDK for building augmented reality apps and games for iPhone and iPad. It is characterized by the following features:
      • Reliable Face Tracking – Easily apply face effects or create facial expressions.
      • Tracking the level of illumination of the environment for the correct setting of the light environment of virtual objects.
      • Detection of 2D objects: horizontal, vertical, and inclined planes. That is, for example, tables and walls.
      • Integration with Unity and Unreal Engine.
    • ARCore – AR Core is Google’s response to the ARKit. 
      • ARCore uses a phone camera to identify function points and change their position over time. Visual information is combined with data from sensors to calculate the position and orientation of the phone in space.
      • Detection of flat and inclined surfaces.
      • Automatic light control. For example, if you are in a dimly lit room, ARCore will automatically adjust the image.
      • Binding of virtual objects (kitten) to physical objects (table). If you leave the room and return, the kitten will remain in the same place.
      • Integration with Unity and Unreal Engine.
    • Vuforia – This is another great SDK to develop augmented reality apps:
      • Recognition of text and various types of visual objects (box, cylinder, plane).
      • Supports the creation of marker and markerless AR.
      • 3D scanning of the environment.
      • Detection of multiple objects.
      • Simulation Play mode lets you walk through or around a 3D model and watch it on your computer.
      • API: C # for Unity, C ++ for iOS, Java for Android.
    • EasyAR – EasyAR is a great solution if you are looking to create a product for the culture and tourism, business area, education, and many other industries: 
      • Scan the environment and generate a 3D mesh in real-time.
      • Compatible with Android smartphones that ARCore does not support.
      • Tracking 3D objects.
      • Real-time flat image recognition and tracking.
      • Screen recording in H.264 / AAC / MP4 formats.
      • Integration with Unity.
    vuforia vs arkit vs arcore

    An experienced AR development company will be well versed with all of these SDKs and can show you a portfolio of products they created as well. Now that we know how AR works and what the best SDKs are let’s take a look at how to make an augmented reality. 

    How to Make an AR App? 

    So, you have decided what commercial, entertainment, or informational goals your AR project has, as well as what type of application they are easier to achieve. Any application will require virtual content – audio, video, 3D models, textures, one or a combination of the above. You can provide the AR development company with these materials, if available, or they can help you create them.

    Then you will need to choose the right SDK. This needs to be done with great care because your ultimate choice needs to cover the platforms where your users are. The more platforms your AR SDK supports, the more customers you can reach. Sometimes, however, it’s a good idea to opt for an AR SDK for the specific platform if it meets the basic requirements of your app. If you cannot perform the development work yourself, you will need to contact an AR development company to do this for you. 

    Augmented Reality in Fashion Industry

    What are the Pros and Cons of AR Apps? 

    Even if you know how to build your AR app, you still need to be aware of the pros and cons.

    Let’s first take a look at the benefits: 

    • Create unique experiences – The biggest advantage of Augmented Reality is that it creates unique digital experiences that blend the best of digital and physical worlds. Also, it does not need any special hardware or software to savor the experience.
    • No cognitive overload – Cognitive overload happens when your working memory is made to process a huge chunk of more information than otherwise, it can handle comfortably. Augmented reality presents information in neatly summarized digital snippets. It spares the user from having to process too much information to conclude.
    • Increased engagement – In 2021 and beyond, if there is one priority that ranks top on the agenda of most business leaders, it is improving user engagement. User engagement is like the gateway to several other benefits. From more spending to brand loyalty, it can yield countless gains for a growing as well as an established business. 

    The drawbacks of AR include: 

    • High cost of development – Businesses can use AR to improve their services or processes. However, implementing the technology requires technical expertise, as well as financial costs.
    • Difficult to find the right talent – Finding qualified AR developers can be challenging since they are in high demand. Also, each project requires very specialized expertise, which may be hard to find. 
    • Intrusiveness issues – There are AR systems that record the environment in real-time. This can raise legal issues the same way capturing images of random individuals and their private properties, as well as recording their conversations, are illegal in jurisdictions with strict privacy laws.
    augmented and virtual reality in education

    Trust Skywell Software With All Your AR Development Needs

    In this article, we looked at a lot of information about AR and how to make AR apps, but not every company has the necessary personnel in-house to create the needed product. If you are looking to develop an AR app for your business, consider hiring Skywell Software to do all of the development work for you. Thanks to our skills and expertise, we know how to make an augmented reality app that will be a commercial success. Regardless of how imaginative your project may be, we will make it a reality. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you. 

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