Computers and mobile devices drastically improved the way we communicate and exchange information on a global scale. Thanks to the Internet and new technologies, we are experiencing a never-ending digital revolution, with its next step being the Augmented Reality (AR). A study revealed that the global AR market is expected to reach $90 billion by 2020. Another research estimated that almost 23 million AR glasses will be sold in the next three years, which clearly shows that we are entering the new age of information technologies. Developers create most of the AR tools in the form of mobile apps, so we decided to analyze this process more comprehensively. In this article, we will explain to you 5 rules to create amazing AR apps.
How to Design an Outstanding AR App
Before we start talking about the ways to design AR apps, we should define this term precisely. Augmented Reality is an enhanced version of reality created by the use of technology to overlay digital information on an image of something being viewed through a device such as a smartphone camera.
To put it simply, AR is adding digital details to the nearby environment in order to improve or enhance it. If you really want an AR-based app to fulfill this purpose, you need to follow an entire set of rules. Here, we will show you the 5 most important tactics in that regard.
- Think about the goal
The ultimate goal of each AR mobile app is to solve a concrete problem or improve the experience of its users. That’s why you need to understand the target audience and make an app which has the potential to achieve this goal. You should ask yourself one question – will I really offer users the product worth buying? If the answer is positive, you can move on with the project.
Here is a good example: Argon4 is a tool that enhances camera display, adding all sorts of contextual information. It does so by connecting smartphone sensors with the vision tracking software. For instance, if you are visiting museums, Argon4 can show you who painted a picture, describe the motives, styles, etc. It helps people to improve everyday experiences, so it really fulfills the basic goal of AR apps.
- Consider legal issues
You must always check legal requirements before publishing an app, especially if you create AR games for children. Such tools require parents’ permission and you have to highlight this demand. As a developer, you want to obtain as much user-related information as possible, including names, emails, contacts, etc.
It helps you to boost sales but these are all sensitive personal information, so you need to protect both the app users and yourself. In such circumstances, the best option is to ask for the minimum of personal details. If email addresses are enough to keep your business running, don’t ask them to reveal social media profiles or photo galleries.
- Exploit location services
AR apps are great for providing people with location-based services. A tool like this enables users to enjoy the world around them more comfortably, making the local environment more interesting or informative. This is exactly the reason why AR GPS DRIVE/WALK NAVIGATION is so popular among smartphone owners.
The app takes GPS services to the higher level because it connects to the smartphone camera and doesn’t display the standard geo-map. It uses AR instead and shows drivers virtual paths, which generates a much better road view. Unlike classical navigation, AR GPS is in no way not confusing, so it also increases the safety of the driver.
- Use the right tool
You can’t make a great AR mobile app without a good design tool. There are dozens of interesting solutions on the market but we suggest you try one of these app builders:
- Appy Pie: This tool is simple and easy to understand. The biggest advantage of this app builder is that it allows you to design products without any previous coding experience.
- ARToolKit: ARToolKit is a reliable AR solution with full integration with a wide variety of smart glasses. It uses advanced algorithms to precisely match the point of view of a user.
- EasyAR: A free AR app builder, EasyAR is excellent for beginner-level projects with a perfect 3D object recognition system.
- Wikitude SDK: If you need professional AR software, we suggest you use Wikitude SDK. It offers all sorts of useful features as well as customization options.
- Mind the price
Diana Gatewood, a leading IT specialist at Best Dissertation, recently noted: “Even if you create the most outstanding AR app, it will hardly bring you any profit in case you don’t set the reasonable price”. In other words, you have to reconsider target audience once again prior to publishing the app and forcing people to pay for it. It is usually much better to release it free of charge to catch the attention of users and then add extra elements that need to be paid.
Augmented Reality is the next phase of the IT revolution. AR-based apps give you a plethora of opportunities to influence traditional industries but you have to understand how it works prior to designing your own product. In this article, we showed you 5 rules to create amazing AR apps. Feel free to use our tips and don’t hesitate to write us a comment if you need more explanations about this topic.
About the Author
Steven Wesley is a creative writer and tech enthusiast. He is interested in public relations, digital marketing, technological and political issues. Besides, Steve believes in the mighty power of the pen to change the modern world. Feel free to drop him a line on Twitter and Facebook!