Augmented reality (AR) is one of the hottest trends in the tech world these days, but it’s more than a buzzword; AR has the potential to offer billion of dollars in value to companies around the world. In fact, Digi-Capital’s latest Augmented/Virtual Reality Report predicts that the augmented reality and virtual reality market could be worth $108 billion by 2021, driven primarily by mobile AR. About $83 billion (76.9%) of this figure is slated to come from AR alone.
Retail, gaming, real estate, and marketing companies are all reaping the benefits of AR mobile app development, which fuses the real and virtual world by adding digital images to real-time analog views. AR technology creates a new form of interaction between consumers and products with digital visual aids that help market products or services, from simulations of what furniture or a paint color will look like in someone’s home to virtual try-ons of apparel.
As such, developing a mobile AR app can save costs while creating a deeper connection between your business and your users. Here’s what you need to know about AR mobile app development and how it differs from traditional app development.
What to Keep in Mind During AR Mobile App Development
A well-developed AR app can churn out realistic and properly aligned computer-generated imagery that meshes with the real world. Developing such an app requires precision when creating the user interface and the ability to build accurate computer-generated imagery.
When it comes to developing an augmented reality app, there are a few unique concerns to keep in mind:
- What imagery will you use? AR is different from regular apps because you can add 3D-generated imagery or any sort of descriptive knowledge over images snapped with a camera in real-time. As such, it’s important to decide exactly what sorts of images you want to use for your app and how the user will interact with these digital elements.
- Will your app be marker-based or location-based? Marker-based AR apps require software that recognizes a symbol, barcode or another pattern, overlaying a digital image when a mobile device’s camera is pointed at the screen. If the image is rendered in 3D or animated, the app can alter the digital appearance of the surface upon which the pattern is printed. Location-based apps use a device to record its position in the world, then offers data that relates to this location, such as providing the name and details for a nearby landmark.
- Have you included a strong camera calibration engine? If the camera calibration is not done properly, you will not get be able to capture a moving image or video with the right pixelation. As such, it’s critical to ensure the length, height and tilt angle of a camera is on point to guarantee your app is doing a good job of overlaying digital images onto the real world. To have a strong calibration engine, you will need 3D markerless tracking, image/object recognition and multiple image tracking.
After considering these points, you will be well on your way to successfully developing an AR app. But what exactly are the benefits you can expect to reap with augmented reality technology on your side?
AR Apps Can Improve Marketing
The ability to artificially augment a user’s surroundings and objects is what makes AR such a powerful marketing tool. With an augmented reality app, users can conveniently sample products or services before deciding to purchase.
For example, the ecommerce world could use AR to create a new avenue for online shopping in the form of facial recognition software that lets consumers try out a slew of makeup options virtually. The same technology can be applied to create virtual fitting rooms, allowing customers to try out a shirt, a pair of pants, glasses or an entire outfit to see how it fits their shape and style. Even manufacturers can benefit from this technology with an AR app that looks at what new equipment might fit into their plant in real-time.
In short, the interactive nature of AR apps is highly effective at marketing a product or service. Being able to virtually test out a product from the comfort of your couch can translate into a major selling point. As an added bonus, the technology can also draw in new audiences, appealing to young, tech-savvy users eager to experience the novelty of AR.
The Emotional Impact of Augmented Reality
Another special strength of augmented reality is the ability to develop an emotional connection with users. By bringing digital products to a user’s home and displaying a simulation of what a product will look like on them or in their environment, companies can create a personalized connection that takes into account the needs of a particular customer.
Research from the Harvard Business Review discovered that this emotional connection is at least equally important as the intellectual connection when creating a case for why people should buy something. Plus, this emotional connection leads to customer loyalty and future purchases, resulting in higher retention rates and a continuous revenue stream for businesses. Augmented reality effectively builds such a connection by capturing the user’s imagination, creating vivid simulations, and by simply imparting an element of novelty that consumers find appealing.
Augmented reality ultimately offers business plenty of cutting-edge tools that can increase their revenue stream by offering a more personalized experience for users. The technology can also expand on a business’ marketing tools and create a stronger connection with prospective customers.
However, in order to create the perfect AR app for your company, you will need a developer with the talent and experience to help you achieve your goals. That is precisely what you will find at 7T. Our talented development team is experienced in not only augmented reality but many other emerging technologies, including virtual reality, blockchain, artificial intelligence and natural language processing.
7T is headquartered in Dallas, but we also serve clients in Austin, Houston, and beyond. If you’re ready to discuss your AR mobile app development project, please contact us today.