AR experience for your business
What should you consider before an AR app building
2018 is On. AR is getting mature
Most retailers and fast-moving businesses today are not new to Augmented Reality experience. They are all trying to use this new kind of tech to promote their products, boost sales, and to improve brand awareness. It became easier due to AR apps (to be more specific: ARKit for and ARCore SDKs). This technology claims to keep customers impressed, magnetized and promises to significantly increase the customer loyalty. Well, let’s see. 2018 is going to be an AR breakthrough year.
Of course there were AR experiments earlier, in 2014, for instance. 4 years back Google introduced Tango AR platform with motion tracking cameras and 3D mapping free from GPS. Still, this solution was available for some devices only and was far from mass usage and global popularity. It was a breakthrough attempt, though.
And today AR is growing every hour. We hope this piece of information will help to make up your mind, whether an ARKit app (iOS) or an ARCore application (Android) development is a good idea for your business.
Stuff to consider prior building an Augmented Reality app
WOW effect: impress your target
First off, good impression with lasting effect is what we all aim at. But face it, AR is now more complicated than a mere placing a single object on a defined surface. It demands more creative approach and new ideas for AR in mobile apps usage. Let’s say, your app allows putting different types of 3D models, not a specific one only. The identified surface is not limited by an average card or a table, so any horizontal surface will do.
Readme: Think as if you are a customer, what else would you want to add to your ‘reality’?
It’s all about 3D Models availability
Certainly, the majority of retailers use ready-made 3D models for their products. If you want your application to be popular, it’s important to make your 3D models available for all types of users, means available across all popular platforms and devices. We’ll talk about it later, so read on. One more important notice here. There are some free 3D graphic libraries for developers, so some simple tasks are Ok with little to none design skills. However, out of the box solutions require additional expenses spent on a good 3D designer for models optimization.
Readme: This way or another, free stock or custom, 3D models rule.
Your project is not static, it changes according to your customer needs and market demands, of course. The main aim of your app should be actually to show your customers how it can help them in problem-solving and meet their actual needs. So, allow your customer to make changes by adjusting different views according to their convenience. Take your customers to a comfort zone, to a reasonable extent, of course.
Readme: Organize a comfort zone for your customers, to a reasonable extent, of course.
Hm, Diminished what?
Bear some out-of-the-box features in mind, features that could be implemented in your app in the future, features, that are not used freely now, like Diminished Reality. Admit, the current focus on 3D content inclusion to the real world can shift soon, to erasing some items or objects, for instance.
Readme: New function can make your app more user-friendly and single you out from competitors.
The true nature of any business is to serve the wide range of customers, does not it? So, it’s neither productive nor smart to limit your product to a specific group of user. Even if your ARkit app is fantastic, it’s nothing to numerous Android users. Same, iPhone users will not benefit from your brilliant ARcore app. By happy chance, cross-platform solutions will serve both.
Readme: Only your target audience should set the final platform(s) for your business.
Finally, it’s crucial to have a forward-thinking approach when developing this type of applications. Stuff, implemented today, is going to influence the future of your AR app. Even if the utilized machines are outdated, Augmented Reality will still be with us but in new forms.
Readme: It’s better to think about the app portability and future bug fix beforehand.
Google’s ARCore interaction with the real world
As it was mentioned before, Tango was a first limited AR attempt at Google. In the middle of 2017, the long-awaited Google ARCore, a platform for Android, appeared. The most promising fact about it — it doesn’t rely on special Tango sensors and will be available for most Android devices.
Well, our Android department shared their recent experience with ARCore in the AR snowmen project. Kotlin/ARCore mixture.
Even though Techmas (new word, comes from AR Christmas cards) and NY are far away now, the app features are applicable to practically any shopping, business or education need.
3 basic capabilities of ARCore we’ve used:
- Environmental detection or as they called it ‘environmental understanding’. It allows your phone to look for flat horizontal surfaces.
- Motion tracking feature allows you to pin an object to 1 place and go round it.
- Scaling light estimation makes objects more realistic due to estimation of the light around you.
Let’s admit, Augmented Reality has already become essential for retailers worldwide. Huge corporates, like Google and Apple, have already adopted it and have created toolkits like ARkit and Android ARCore and such, to create an enhanced technology. There are some ready-made libraries and ‘stock’ solutions for a fast start, just like we did with this Snowmen project. But if this theme grabs your interily, it’s high time to dive deep and make something spectacular and one of a kind.
The last Readme: In case all this AR stuff is too complicated, or costly, or your strategy does not allow such rapid changes, we’ll gladly assist with a complete cycle of mobile app development (Android, iOS, cross-platform solutions).
Thanks for making it till the very end! In case you have something to add or edit, please let us know in comments below.