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Augmented reality in mobile apps is a proven tool for enhancing customer experience and achieving significant sales uplift. If you don’t invest in AR, then there’s a high chance your competitors will leave you out. Why? Statista predicts that the global mobile augmented reality (AR) user base will reach 1.7 billion by 2024.
Augmented reality doesn’t just improve customer experience but also strengthens your core USP and brand recognition. Read the complete article to learn about the seven steps to develop augmented reality in mobile apps.
How to Develop Augmented Reality in Mobile Apps?
AR is a technology that displays/overlays virtual objects in the real-world environment. Developing an augmented reality in mobile apps varies from business to business, but the fundamental aspects remain the same.
1. Determine the type of AR app
Each Augmented reality (AR) has a particular use case. Keep your users at the forefront while determining the type of AR app you want to build and deploy. Usually, there are various types of AR, but the most common ones are:
- a) Marker-based AR: Widely used due to its simplicity and versatility. Users scanning specific markers–QR Code, barcode, product packaging, etc. triggers the augmented reality content.
- b) Markerless AR: It utilizes the device’s camera and sensors to detect and track real-world environments without specific markers. Thus, users can integrate virtual content into the user’s surroundings and provide an immersive experience.
- c) Location-based AR: This type of AR uses the user’s geographical location as a critical factor for delivering AR experiences. It relies on GPS or other location-tracking technologies to determine the user’s position and provide location-specific AR content.
2. Plan and prioritize features
You can effectively plan and prioritize features when you have clarity on your business requirements. Consider the core functionality in the AR that will provide value to your users.
The parts must offer an intuitive and seamless user experience, and the AR elements must naturally blend with the real world. You can boost your brand's social engagement and virality by adding a feature that will allow users to capture and share their AR experience. Finally, integrate your app with external services to enhance functionality.
3. Select the technology stack
Building an Augmented reality in a mobile app requires extensive back-end programming and implementing other frameworks. Align your choice of AR SDK with your desired platform (iOS or Android) to ensure smooth integration and optimal performance.
Common AR frameworks include ARKit (iOS), ARCore(Android), and Unity (cross-platform). If you require 3D modeling capabilities for your AR app, software tools like Blender or Unity’s built-in tool can be valuable resources to generate 3D models, animations, and visual assets.
For the backend, you can use Node.js, Python, and cloud-based services like AWS or Firebase.
4. Build a skilled development team
A skilled development team determines the success of Augmented reality in mobile apps. If you build an in-house team, you must take care of additional expenses like full-time wages and benefits. A healthy alternative is outsourcing the development to a reputable augmented reality app development company. Nevertheless, a skilled team will require expert individuals, such as:
- a) Project Manager: Oversees the entire development process, manages the team, sets goals, and ensures timely delivery.
- b) AR Developers: Experienced developers with expertise in AR app development and the chosen AR frameworks.
- c) UX/UI Designers: These designers possess the expertise to conceptualize and implement intuitive user interfaces that are visually enticing for AR applications.
- d) 3D Artists and Animators: Experts in creating high-quality 3D models, textures, and animations for the AR environment.
- e) Backend Developers: If your AR app requires server-side functionality or integration with external services, you'll need developers skilled in the chosen backend technologies and APIs.
- f) Quality Assurance (QA) Engineers: QA Engineers are dedicated professionals who perform thorough testing, bug tracking, and quality assurance measures to deliver a polished and reliable app.
5. Test rigorously
Testing is paramount after any AR development process. First, verify that all features and interactions work as intended. Then, assess the app’s performance under different conditions–varying network speeds, handling complex 3D models, or device capabilities. Test the app on various devices, screen sizes, and OS versions to ensure compatibility. Finally, test AR-specific functionalities like marker recognition, occlusion, and object interaction, to ensure a seamless AR experience.
6. Launch & Provide ongoing support
Familiarize with app store guidelines in the launch phase. Doing this will help you avoid unnecessary compliance issues later on. After successfully launching, develop a comprehensive marketing strategy to generate initial user engagement and exposure.
Based on the data generated, identify areas for improvement and constantly engage with users, monitor user reviews, and implement analytics tools to gather advanced data. Support by establishing a dedicated team to address user queries, troubleshoot issues, and respond promptly to user inquiries.
The development of Augmented reality in mobile apps presents a wealth of valuable opportunities for businesses worldwide. Being an early-mover in the gradually increasing market of AR will help your business bring a unique approach to user experience and unlock new realms of engagement.
If you’re looking for a reputable company to help you leverage AR in mobile apps, LN Webworks is here to help. Contact us today, and let’s turn your vision into a reality and explore the full potential of AR.
Deepak has a close to decade of experience working as a brand and digital designer. His experiences with visual design, web design, print design, and animation have established him as a useful force wherever he is able to serve.