How to Build an AR App? Exploring the process, tech stack, costs, etc

There is no denying that Augmented Reality (AR) is transforming the way industries work. The technology is already accessible on nearly every smartphone/tablet, and the industry is only forecasted to keep growing (reaching a capitalization of $1.73 billion by 2024).

With multiple industries (including retail, automotive, healthcare, education, and others) scrambling to implement AR, there has never been a greater demand for AR app development services than there is today. To help you fill this need, we will be looking at the basics of building such an app.

How to Build an AR App?

Building an AR application is a serious task and takes a high level of expertise and so so much time. If you are a total stranger to software and languages such as Java & C++, we would highly recommend that you hire a professional or a team of experts.

If this is not the case, you can also get acquainted with how to create an Augmented Reality app.

The first stage is to choose from the different tools/platforms that will help you build the AR application. Once you have chosen the platform, you need to decide on the application mechanism. There are multiple aspects to designing the perfect AR application, but broadly speaking, AR apps are built to work either using a Marker-based recognition system or a Location-Based recognition System.

After you have decided on the practical application of the AR app, here are some points to consider for its design.

  1. Do not keep the UI cluttered. It must be easy to understand and operate.
  2. Keep the hardware in mind. Make your app compatible only with devices that have the necessary hardware capabilities.
  3. Integrate the AR into the user’s public as well as private environment.
  4. Keep user safety in mind when designing the app. For instance, do not design the app to allow the user to move backward.

How to create an enterprise AR app?

When building an AR app for an enterprise, you must consider the problem that the enterprise is looking to resolve with the AR application. The scope of the application and its practical implementations are the first and the most important thing to consider.

For instance, if you are building an app for health care — surgery assistance, you should make the app highly precise and accurate, with the input of all the body parts into its software.

How to make an AR game?

Games are always exciting, and after the success of Pokemon Go, thousands of video game developers have been looking to build their own AR success story. To build your own AR game, you just need a great concept and the right software that supports immersive plugins.

Our tip is to make sure that the app you build supports only the devices with the necessary hardware capabilities, since lagging and crashes with incompatible hardware shows your creation in a bad light.

Mobile AR Development: Choosing the Right Platform

If you are an augmented reality mobile developer, it can be tough to choose between developing AR apps for Android, iOS, or both. How do you go about choosing the right platform?

Android and iOS both have helpful SDK’s (Software Development Kits) and choosing any OS is good. Ideally, you can choose a platform that lets you develop a cross-platform AR application, providing greater depth and reaching a larger audience.

How to make AR app for iOS?

You can create your iOS AR app using ARkit. It’s a powerful framework that helps integrate motion tracking, light, camera scene capture, advanced scene processing, and more to build a comprehensive AR experience for your iOS device. Apple with its ARkit and comprehensive ecosystem makes it easy to develop AR applications for its devices.

How to create an Augmented Reality app for Android?

If you are an Android AR developer, ARCore is the basic augmented Reality framework that helps build AR applications for your android devices. Mobile applications developed on ARCore work on both Android and iOS devices, providing greater reach.

Cross-platform AR development

Most third-party SDKs support iOS as well as Android AR application development at the same high level. It’s important to choose the right tech stack for your application, and we recommend considering Unity, Wikitude, ViroReact, and a few other popular choices as a top priority.

Choosing the Right AR Stack for Your App

It’s important to choose the right AR stack for your development pipeline. This means choosing the right platform with all the required features and supporting plugins that you need to build a quality mobile application from square one.

How to create an AR app in Unity?

Unity is one of the most famous cross-platform AR app development SDKs. What makes it one of the best platforms for this type of development is its cross-platform compatibility, along with large app size support and interactive user interface. Fortunately, you can also create an augmented reality app using the vuforia plugin in Unity for better tracking and recognition of 3D objects in real-time.

How to choose the right SDK?

Choosing the right SDK is extremely important if you are looking to develop an AR app across single or multiple platforms. Here are some points that you must keep in mind when choosing the right platform.

  1. Ideally, it will support multiple operating systems, primarily iOS and Android. The more platforms it supports, the better it is for the users.
  2. Choose between the free and paid version of the product. We recommend choosing a paid, licensed version for better features.
  3. It must support Unity, as it’s one of the most advanced SDKs or for great graphics in your AR app.
  4. It should support Cloud recognition. Cloud recognition ensures that your mobile application recognizes markers, without taking up a lot of space on the device.
  5. 3D tracking and recognition are most important for real-time triggers.

How Much Does It Cost to Build an AR App?

It can be quite difficult to put an exact estimate on an Augmented Reality app cost. The various variables, such as the number of working hours involved, features included in the app and customized changes affect how much an AR app costs.

It typically takes around 160 hrs to make a simple AR application that costs around $5000 to $10000. In the case of feature and graphic-rich AR apps, the cost can significantly jump up to $70000- $100000. The cost further depends on the scope, team, and timeline involved in building the app.

It’s often advisable to outsource the development rather than hire an in-house developer, because of the sheer experience that professional outsourcers provide in development. Moreover, it’s cheaper to outsource it as you save on software, human resources, and troubleshooting costs.

How to Get Started with Augmented Reality?

There are two main ways to go about building an App for your business:

You can either create your AR app by hiring a development team that comes with high costs, troubleshooting, low expertise, and additional HR strings attached, or you can outsource it to AR development App companies.

You can also partner with Program-Ace — a company with 27 years of expertise in the IT industry, and housing some of the top AR developers in Europe. Our expertise in AR-based applications extends to various sectors and solution types. If you are interested to know more about cooperation on an AR project, just contact us here. It will be our pleasure to discuss your project details and deliverables.

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