Tips on How to Build Augmented Reality Mobile Apps

Today, augmented reality (AR) is changing the way we perceive the world — or at least the way users of augmented reality devices see the world. Everyone from gamers to soldiers, from ecommerce owners to those looking for the closest coffee shop can now benefit from the ability to place computer-generated graphics in their field of vision.

Augmented reality is a huge and rapidly growing market. For those aiming to build AR mobile applications, there’s an impressive choice of available AR software development kits (SDKs). Nonetheless, sometimes it’s hard to pick the most appropriate SDK to create an app that will satisfy all your needs and will meet all your requirements.

Begin with the type of augmented reality app

When choosing the best software for creating augmented reality apps, you should take into consideration which type of augmented reality your app will require. There are two types of AR mobile applications: marker-based and location-based. Marker-based AR mobile apps recognize images, whereas location-based AR apps use GPS and other position sensors to find your location and generate augmented reality objects.

Define the functionality for your augmented reality app

After you’ve decided between marker-based and location-based AR, think about the functionality you expect from your mobile app. There are several major aspects to pay attention to. Once you define the most important features for your AR app, you’ll be able to choose the most appropriate SDK for creating it.

Think about platforms your app will support

Check which platforms augmented reality SDKs work with — Android, iOS, Windows Mobile, or others. Some augmented reality SDKs are compatible with multiple platforms. Of course, the two most widely used mobile operating systems, Android and iOS, may be enough, but you might consider support for more platforms in the future.

Consider smart glasses support

Another thing to look at when creating an AR mobile app is smart glasses support. Since smart glasses are becoming more popular and allow hands-free AR experiences, building AR mobile apps compatible with these devices is certainly an advantage.

Figure out if your app requires breathtaking graphics

If you crave outstanding graphics in your AR mobile application, look for an SDK compatible with Unity, one of the most advanced game engines in the world. Unity is capable of powering augmented reality apps.

Learn about the advantages of the cloud

AR mobile apps that recognize lots of markers demand an augmented reality SDK with support for cloud recognition. With cloud recognition, markers are stored in the cloud while the application doesn’t require much space on a mobile device. If you’re aiming to create a small and simple augmented reality mobile app, you should choose an SDK with on-device (i.e. local) recognition. In this case, markers are stored right on a user’s portable device, so there’s no need to go online to use the app.

Understand the benefits of 3D tracking

3D tracking is used to create mobile games and AR apps for ecommerce. The top augmented reality platforms support 3D image tracking, which means they can recognize 3D objects. This gives immense opportunities for augmented reality in your mobile app.

Study whether your app should provide geolocation

When creating location-based AR apps, look to AR platforms with geolocation support. If you want to add virtual places of interest to your application, you need an augmented reality platform with support for geolocation.

Determine whether there’s a need for SLAM

SLAM (Simultaneous Localization and Mapping) can be a great feature for your AR app. It allows applications to map an environment and track their own movements in it. Also, this technology can go far beyond adding AR objects to a room. With the help of SLAM, it’s possible to create maps for indoor navigation.

Estimate your project

The most important consideration for any entrepreneur is cost. You should check what kinds of licences each augmented reality SDK offers. You’ll find both free and commercial licences. Bear in mind that free functionality is usually rather limited.

Now that you know all the functionality of augmented reality SDKs that you can apply to your future AR mobile app, it should be less problematic for you to choose an appropriate tool. Decide what functionality you need in your mobile application, check available SDKs, consider the pricing, and you’re ready to develop a top-notch app.