How Much Does Augmented Reality App Development Cost in 2018?

Tecsynt Solutions
Jan 30, 2018 · 7 min read

Having augmented reality in the smartphone device — how cool is that? We’ve seen an overwhelming growth of this technology during the past few years. By the end of 2017, AR becomes a trend in the App Store with more and more loyal users — all these facts make augmented reality attractive for businesses of all sizes.

Our aim for today is to learn how AR has changed this year and what to expect in several days — in the year of 2018. You can review our last year research on augmented reality app development and compare them with the new data.

AR Is Hitting the Tech World in 2018

We don’t’ need to have a crystal ball to make such a conclusion — the end of 2017 says it all. We’ve got some data from App Annie’s report, which states that changes started to happen in September. Having less than 300 000 downloads during the whole year, augmented reality apps broke out with more than 750 000 downloads now.

“As a broader range of app publishers continue to claim their first stake in the AR opportunity, we expect that in 2018 “glance-centric” use cases built around layering contextual information on top of the real world will see the most widespread traction with users.”

Such market giants as Facebook and Google have already made first steps towards opportunities brought by the augmented reality. Fascinating, isn’t it? But that’s not all. Let’s see how AR will shape the year of 2018.

Augmented Reality Trends: The Best Is Yet to Come

When we already know some numbers about the AR market growth, it becomes even more interesting what else we can expect the next year. AR vs. VR, mobile technology, and brand development — these are hot topics for the discussion.

#1 VR starts losing its positions

And the main reason for it is the lack of strong technological counterpart for both PCs and mobile devices. Lots of analysts pinned their hopes on the virtual reality — and only one year ago we could follow their example. Thanks to Digi-Capital, we may see that we were wrong — and these market changes will have even a bigger influence in future.

Only imagine that the first three months revenue of Pokemon Go was bigger than the whole VR market in 2016. This is where it all started — the Pokemon example gave a push to lots of businessmen all over the world. In 2018, this tendency will leave its primary stage and move to the further expansion.

#2 Brands will get more benefits

This is a logical conclusion from the previous paragraph. Augmented reality app ideas have complemented lots of successful brands. Are you looking for a new way to interact with your audience? It looks like we know where you can find it.

Ikea now appears in every home with a variety of furniture and a new experience for the clients. There is no need to buy an item to actually see how it fits your apartment — Ikea Place will make it on the AR level. Using cameras of smartphones or tablets, the app analyzes your room and then puts furniture items in the perfect position.

Here comes a new opportunity for online shoppers — Ikea Place helps in fast decision-making. This huge brand will visit your house and give you a free consultation in several minutes.

The ARKit and ARCore launch gives way to more business ideas not only for big retailers. These two frameworks were created by Apple and Google respectively. It means that companies from any sphere can easily create their own solution for a particular platform and share it with thousands of mobile users. And as for mobile development…

#3 AR and the smartphone make a perfect couple

There are some challenges meeting AR on the way to a complete success:

  • The user should have a so-called “hero” device — this is a device of a high quality produced by a reliable manufacturer.
  • The “hero” should have an enduring battery.
  • There should be some place for mobile connectivity.
  • It must be an app-store ecosystem.
  • And cross-subsidization is a necessity.

You might have guessed that mobile sphere can cope with four of these challenges. This is what it means:

The last problem that should be solved is the availability of a “hero” device. Our modern smartphones are still not fully equipped to give users a complete AR experience, but the first attempt was made by Google with its Lenovo AR phone and ZenPhone AR. We’re sure that these attempts are only the beginning of the more interesting discoveries happening in several months.

#4 AR is awakening replacement cycles

The replacement cycle is a period between purchasing a new product — in our case, it’s a mobile device. Previously, consumers have bought a smartphone every 18 months. With time, this period gets longer, and now it is about three years. For big mobile corporations, it is a rather devastating fact.

Who could’ve known that AR is going to play the main role in getting mobile sales back to life? And Apple is that company which will take the most advantages out of this circumstance. New iPhones already have enough equipment to provide customers with a sufficient AR experience. And with it, people won’t have any extra spending to purchase a special AR feature — they get it with the whole functionality package.

#5 AR is becoming a confident market player

People are overwhelmed with the success of Pokemon Go. But although this game is in all study cases about the augmented reality, it is far from all capabilities of this sphere. With the appearance of ARKit and ARCore, more great things are going to happen.

As people now appreciate the new technology, more brands and businesses consider AR as a new level of their development. And with a relatively low cost of implementation the augmented reality is going to win the market of both businesses and individual customers.

Development Cost of Augmented Reality Apps

As the branch of AR apps is growing, cost estimation varies considerably depending on the type of an app. We’re going to review the basic applications you can invest your money in and their approximate price. We consider the hourly rate of a Ukrainian developer as 35$, and we’re building our characteristics on this data.

AR based on the gyroscope: this is the fastest and simplest way to add AR to the app’s functionality. The information got from the gyroscope allows placing different objects around the user.

Time estimation: 150–250 hours. Price: $5250-$8750.

AR with markers: in such kind of apps, the main role plays markers situated in the real world. Various cards, QR-codes, or icons can become triggers, but it takes time to set them up so that the smartphone’s camera could scan them.

Time estimation: 200–400 hours. Price: $7000-$14000.

SLAM (Simultaneous Localization and Mapping): this concept is used in many industries and has one main principle in its core. Multiple sensors situated on a certain device or an instrument can define its location in a certain environment. In the applications, this technology allows putting 3D objects in the right position. The Ikea app described above is based on the SLAM concept.

Time estimation: 250–500 hours. Price: $8750-$17500.

Location-based AR: several technologies are used in such apps simultaneously — GPS, Wi-Fi, and compass are required. So, to get AR of the highest quality, the user should be in the right location and have a good Internet connection.

Time estimation: 400–800 hours. Price: $14000-$28000.

Along with AR development, such apps require some additional features common for many other app types:

  • Log-in
  • Payment integration
  • Support of several languages
  • Analytics tools
  • Chats or forums, etc.

Depending on the number of these traits, the cost of the final app varies a lot. The additional time that may be needed begins with 16 hours and goes up to 402 hours.

Reality Continues Extending in 2018

The most exciting thing about the technology world is that it can swiftly change within several months. Our everyday lives are under a huge influence of such changes — from now on, augmented reality becomes a smartphone part available for any user. In 2018, AR development is going to gather momentum — both entrepreneurs and individual users will get their benefits.

Tecsynt Solutions

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Outsourcing company specializing in developing native & Blockchain mobile apps. We help businesses to build high-grade software products & Smart Contracts.