Technology is adding new aspects to mobile app development every day and augmented reality (AR) is one such technology. Both mobile app development companies and users have now accepted the concept of AR and its benefits. With the introduction of apps like Pokemon Go and Snapchat, AR has reached great heights and continues to grow with predicted revenue of 6218.23 million by 2020. The impact of AR on mobile app development is evident from the continued rise in the users of AR technology and the increase in the content creation using AR apps.
AR is the technology that mixes the elements of the digital world with the elements of the physical world of the user to create an artificial environment. This enhances the user’s experience by affecting their perception of the idea about reality by superimposing some useful, artificial elements on the physical environment of the user.
AR apps are being preferred by mobile app developers and users alike due to the different advantages offered by it. These benefits of AR can be summarized as:
- The enhanced interactivity of the user with the physical world using the digital world
- Instant and easy information access to the user without doing a single thing out of the way
- Tracking and location-based information becomes more efficient
Thus, visualization, tracking, and interaction can all be facilitated using AR mobile apps. For example, if a user is wearing AR glasses while walking down a road, the glasses will automatically project all available information and details related to the nearby locations, such as details of any important infrastructure the user crosses, reviews of the nearest coffee shop or food outlets, etc.
This makes the life of the user easy with AR. Though the spectrum of AR may be less broad than another similar technology, virtual reality (VR) in which the user experiences an entirely virtual world, AR retains the originality of the actual world around the user.
AR works in a three-fold manner with the user camera visualizing, tracking or analysing, and interacting with the surroundings. First of all, the camera tracks using GPS tracking to locate the nearby places and the code placed near the object for tracking. The computer vision recognizes the object and using accelerometers and barometric sensors, the movement and depth of the user is analysed. The digital information about the object is then presented on it and gets updated over and over again with the changing or moving environment of the user, thus making the interaction of the user and surroundings possible.
Examples of AR implementation include using 3D viewers that may or may not use trackers to place real-life 3D objects in their surroundings, as done by businesses like IKEA to provide their customers with an idea about how their object would “look like” in the user’s surroundings. Browsers may also be used for implementing AR. They track your location and present the information and details of that place on the screen. Another medium used is through gaming as seen in Pokemon Go, where the whole world is considered a playground with the users trying to find artificial elements that have been placed around.
The different types of AR this include geospatial systems, 2-D AR systems, and 3-D AR systems.
- Privacy leakage can be a significant issue as maximum information about a person is available on Facebook or LinkedIn profile, and any user can tamper with a stranger’s privacy by simply pointing the screen at them.
- While the interaction of the digital and physical world has enhanced, the interaction between physical world and humans has started to suffer. Thus, users miss what is right in front of them to gather what is not.
- There are restrictions in accurate tracking it is accurate for the users till a fixed scale only, for instance, it is not very accurate in indoor locations.
Many industries have already incorporated AR and are providing users with great solutions. Some of these industries are:
This industry is responsible for popularizing AR with the launch of apps like Pokemon Go. Astounded by the user engagement it brought, mobile app developers started focusing more on developing AR based apps. The response got was higher customer retention and engagement, which is encouraging mobile app developers to pursue it further, including the maximum features and being innovative while developing AR-based games. Temple Treasure Hunt is another AR-based gaming app that has been very successful.
Before finalizing the purchase, users can virtually check things such as furniture, cosmetics, shoes, and so on. The suitability of the product is thus checked without wasting any time and effort of the user. Stores get the advantage of showcasing more products virtually than it is possible to show physically. Shoppers now prefer shops which provide AR experiences. Some examples of the use of AR-based apps in the retail sector are Sephora, IKEA, L’Oreal, and Converse Shoe Sampler
Healthcare professionals can complete their daily tasks with less effort and improve the level of treatment provided to patients using AR. Accuvein is one of the successful AR-based healthcare apps that helps detect veins accurately to avoid unnecessary punctures and waste of time. AR glasses are also used by surgeons to perform surgeries as they provide all the necessary information in front of them.
Students are getting practical exposure to the world with AR-based classes. This has made studying more interesting and teaching more effective. Students are able to retain more as the learning process has become more interactive with AR. Chromeville Science and ZooBurst are the best examples of AR-based apps in the education sector.
People are spending more time on mobile using apps like Snapchat, Music.ly, which add no actual value but are for entertainment purpose. So, mobile app developers have also started creating AR based apps keeping the entertainment of the users as the sole criteria.
As almost every industry has a vast potential to explore AR in every industry, AR app development will certainly spur in the market. AR app development company in India is creating apps that not only engage and retain the users but are also fruitful for them using the best developers and techniques to be a part of this fast-growing billion-dollar industry.