App Development

Developing Augmented Reality apps

An introduction to Augmented Reality app development  December 19, 2017 – 08:16 am
5 Tools for Creating Augmented Reality Apps

The world of mobile technology moves at lightning pace. If you’re a software development manager, trying to stay on top of the latest trends it is almost a full-time job in itself. Staying in tune with the latest trends is tricky – that’s why we’re exploring the world of augmented reality and what it means for your business.

In its simplest form, augmented reality enables app developers and businesses to overlay digital data on top of real world objects. Augmented reality, although in it’s infancy, is already making huge waves across the mobile technology landscape and is already starting to prove a disruptive force across diverse industry sectors from finance and retail to travel and fashion. Augmented reality is largely viewed as an extension of existing technologies, which is useful in terms of consumer adoption as anyone with a smartphone or device that includes in built video capability can access and utilise the technology.
How does augmented reality work?

Location-based augmented reality apps

Augmented reality apps come in two distinct forms, location-based and marker-based. Location based augmented reality apps utilise the distinct capabilities of mobile devices to monitor the position of each device. This enables augmented reality apps to provide contextual data based upon the specific location of an individual device. In terms of real-world application, this technology enables marketers to provide location sensitive functionality such as help with directions in a particular city, locating a vehicle in a busy car park or understanding constellation patterns in the night sky.

Marker-based augmented reality apps

Marker-based augmented reality apps differ from location-based apps in a number of ways. Firstly, marker-based AR apps operate by enabling the software to pinpoint particular patterns (this could be a QR code or brand symbol) when used in conjunction with a device camera (usually a smartphone) to overlay digital information upon the real-world environment. This means that when the device user points their smartphone at a particular object or setting, they can see a virtual UI on top of the object. Secondly, if the image in question is either animated or 3D, the digital overlay sits on top of the recognised pattern. These emerging technologies offer enormous potential to software development managers and marketers seeking to extend their existing mobile offering.

How to develop augmented reality apps

If you’re thinking of developing an augmented reality app, there are a bunch of things you need to consider. Most augmented reality apps will superimpose 3D imagery or text over real-time images that are being processed by the user’s device. So in order to think about developing an augmented reality app, you need to have access to image processing expertise. Accessing some form of image processing capability will enable you to develop an app capable of tracking markers or natural features in the real-world environment.

If you’re using computer software to generate images, it’s fundamental that the images in question look realistic and credible from the users perspective. It’s also important that imagery is correctly aligned with the real-world environment and getting both of these elements right can be extremely tricky from a development perspective. Failure to develop an authentic UI/UX will result in an augmented reality app that’s very difficult to use and provides little value for the end consumer.


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