Jul 31, 2020

Augmented Reality App Development: Types, Benefits and AR SDKs

Augmented reality and Virtual reality solutions have captured the gaming industry. It has proved successful in winning the user’s interest. According to Statista research, projects for 2023 place AR technology value at more than 18 billion US dollars, while mobile AR user growth should hit 2.4 billion that same year.

Meanwhile, AR is useful in many different fields. For instance, it has entertainment mobile applications, and can also be used for retail, in the medical field, and manufacturing, among others.

Types of Augmented Reality Applications

Augmented reality mobile app development involves two types. First, you must decide which one is important for your company.

Marker-Based Mobile App

The marker-based apps are mainly used for image or text recognition. They make the use of black and white markers so that it triggers to display AR content effectively. When you point your camera on the marker it will show you the object overlaying the digital data over it.

When you provide this feature to the user it is also necessary to provide the image data before the Augmented Reality app development, to simplify the decoding of the particular object. Usually, these apps are used in advertising.

Location-Based Mobile App

Location-based AR apps use GPS and other position detectors like accelero meters. They can detect your location and create augmented reality images with which you can interact. You can see directions through location-based AR mobile apps.

This location-based Augmented reality app is useful in notification based services like searching bars or restaurants nearby and also finding your vehicle in the huge parking lot.

Benefits of Augmented Reality

Let’s have a look some important benefits of Augmented Reality

  • AR conveys information to the user in a very enhanced and clear way, which allows the entrepreneur to deliver the vibrant message to his client and give him a better level of understanding about his product or business and increase transparency in the same.
  • AR allows the companies to do the data delivery more effectively so that the customer gets a better understanding of the product. It helps in handling the huge databases efficiently and employees of the company to train better with the high-tech. It also gives the employee a better knowledge about the company which eventually increases the productivity of the employee.

Top SDKs of Augmented Reality App Development

AR App Development

This AR development kit is a popular open-source, It is quite fast, if you’re working on a real-time AR application, So it might be a perfect choice. ARToolKit has plugins for Unity and also works with Open Scene Graph. 

  • Single and dual camera support.
  • Smart glasses support.
  • Can create real-time AR applications.
  • Multilingual.
  • Auto-cam calibration
  • Support of Unity 3D OpenSceneGraph
  • GPS support
Google ARCore

This is also one of the best AR tools with active more than 2 million android users it has given the mobile app developers a great opportunity to show their talents out there.

  • Motion tracking helps the user to track the motion and spot the feature points in the room. Which helps to place devices accurately.
  • Understanding of the environment. Due to the possibility of detecting horizontal surfaces, you can place virtual objects on tables or the floor and used for motion tracking.
  • The smart lighting feature helps the device to adjust the environmental lighting and the device lighting to make it look more natural.

The world’s biggest iOS platform for AR app development. ARKit is an SDK for mobile developers to build augmented reality apps and games for iPhones and iPads. You get TrueDepth camera, rendering optimizations, lighting estimation, and scene understanding. The real drawback is that it is still considered to be experimental. You won’t be able to compile it on Windows for Mac.

  • Space recognition
  • Object detection
  • Lighting estimation
  • Multiplayer support 
  • Persistent AR experience

It has a support of 2 SDK, 2D for image recognition, and 3D for environment recognition. 

  • Tracking and mapping environment. It automatically adjusts the camera accordingly and can also be auto-saved for later use.
  • Rendering of the 3D objects.
  • QR and Barcode scanning.
  • Track the image or object until the limit of the camera and 3 times of the same.
  • Unity plugin support.

Vuforia is an augmented reality SDK that sits near the top of most “Top AR” lists, and with good reason. It's offers a range of products for developing AR experiences, including Vuforia Engine, Studio, and Chalk. The software supports the creation of both marker-based and markerless AR and has several key features that make it one of the best for object recognition and 3D modeling. These features include a Ground Plane, Visual Camera, and VuMarks.

  • Flat surface recognition
  • Image targets
  • Object targets
  • Unity engine extension

Wikitude is another great choice for AR app development. It was founded in 2008, and it is suitable for developing AR apps for iOS, and Android. Like most top AR development programs, Wikitude supports a variety of tracking methods and technologies, but also incorporates geolocation, cloud recognition, and distance-based scaling features.

  • Object and scene recognition
  • Instant tracking
  • Multiple image recognition
  • Cloud recognition
  • 3D model rendering

EasyAR is not free. You can pick between two pricing tiers, and depending on whether you want the Basic or the Pro package. With it you get enhanced APIs, top-tier compatibility, and easy workflow. However, the jury’s still out on if this is the right option for most AR apps. You do get SLAM and 3D object-tracking with it, but the cost makes it prohibitive for many devs, and especially with what you’re paying for the Pro package. This is an AR software that might appeal to only certain app creators.

  • Planar image tracking
  • 3D object tracking
  • SLAM (surface tracking)
  • Cloud recognition