How to Develop Augmented Reality Apps for Android

Tarun Nagar
Tarun Nagar, Founder & CEO at Dev Technosys
Published on May 17, 2018 in Augmented Reality Developers Resources
How to Develop Augmented Reality Application for Android?

Augmented Reality seems like a new buzzword, but in fact, it has been here for several years in the web and mobile app development industry. The widespread use of Augmented Reality has been seen in some recent apps, especially with PokemonGo, which has propagated its potential more widely. Not only in gaming, AR in mobile apps is becoming the general phenomena. In recent years, we have seen the great amalgamation of Augmented reality in mobile app development.

Despite its wide use and blasting popularity of its apps, Augmented Reality is a somewhat tricky word for non-technical individuals. Apart from gaming, Tango by Google and HoloLens by Microsoft also stands at the forefront of augmented reality. Here, we will try to identify, What is Augmented Reality? How does augmented reality work? How to develop an augmented reality app?

What is Augmented Reality?

Anything "augmented" is the advancement and addition of some foreign component. In technical terms, augment means to add something more complex while 'reality' means the things as they are. Augmented reality is generally understood as the modification of an image/video and the overlapping of a new object over them so that it looks like the real one. In fact, Augmented reality is not just limited to images, but can also be accomplished with sensory enhancements.

One of the most common examples for AR is the downlines during cricket and football matches over television. Military also makes a significant use of Augmented reality in its operations. AR in mobile apps builds the connection with real-world objects through smartphones, tablets and other devices.

Is AR similar to VR?

The answer to this question is a big "No!!". Augmented reality connects multiple users by superimposing the digital enhancements over real-world physical objects. Whereas the virtual reality engages the user with a pre-programmed video.

How does AR work?

Talking with the most relevant examples of mobile application development, AR works in association with an app that looks for the marker, which is a user-defined or generally black and white barcode. Once it finds the marker, the object is overlapped over the marker. By tracking the marker and phone's relative location, the user is able to take a 360-degree view of the object.

How is Augmented Reality expanding?

AR in mobile apps enables Augmented Reality app developers to superimpose the digital data over real world objects. It is being widely used in the fashion and retail industry and has become a potential extension of existing technologies. This smart technology does not require huge resources to utilize and access, what is needed is just the device with video capturing abilities.

Opposite to common belief, AR in mobile apps is not just for video game lovers. Instead, it brings a big turnaround for industries like healthcare, navigation, education, safety, and security etc.

AR is set to empower

Industries: AR in a mobile app can facilitate the training and education through virtual projections in heavy-duty machinery maintenance and application.

Healthcare: AR mobile app development can leverage healthcare industries with error-free surgeries with the help of virtual images of internal organs.

Tourism: The graphical pointers can provide customers the factually correct navigation which can be transmitted through AR in mobile apps.

Ways for AR mobile application development

AR in mobile apps is developed by using engines such as Unity. There are many AR SDK available, such as:

Vuforia: This AR SDK is developed by Qualcomm and supports both iOS and Android. It is more interactive as it supports multiple aims at a time.

ARLab: Available with few pricing options, ARLab also has a 3D engine which is used to make AR in the mobile app. ARLab also includes image tracking and matching, virtual buttons.

DroidAR: Supports only Android; DroidAR is the open source SDK which also supports location-based AR along with image tracking and markers.

There are a number of AR mobile app development tools available in the market, which are good for developing apps for a range of devices such as wearables, tablets, and smartphones. Apart from the above-mentioned tools, there are some other powerful tools also available. Some of them are Wikitude SDK, Metaio SDK, and ARPS SDK. These solutions are currently being employed by blue chip web and top mobile app development companies.

Before Starting to develop the Augmented Reality App

Before embarking on the boat of integrating AR in mobile app development, it is essential to understand that there are a number of factors to consider. The primary task involved in developing AR in a mobile app is to overlay the 360-degree object over the real world images which are processed by the user's device.

Image processing expertise is an essential skill to imbibe for AR mobile app development. Developing an app requires the access to image processing capabilities for tracking the markers and natural features within the environment. It is an essential part to align the 3D imagery with a real-world view from user's perspective in order to make the value among users.

Skills needed to imbibe for developers

A number of mobile app development companies are working with AR, many of them ending up with not so elegant apps. The end-user always expects to see the apps with a seamless user interface (UI) and interactive user experience (UX). A simple and intuitive AR mobile app wins a great appreciation from end-users.

Sounding loud in the current competition is a quite challenging task and requires you to imbibe traditional mobile development capabilities. Though C and C++ are the preferred language for AR in mobile app, app developers still need to possess the development skills on existing mobile application development skills such as 3D modeling, computer vision and imaging expertise for the effective project.

How to start with AR development?

The demand for AR mobile app development is growing swiftly and is expected to top the chart in near future. However, currently, only a few enterprises have the potential talent whereas many enterprises are endeavoring to complete the large backlogs. It is a tricky task to deliver the high quality augmented reality experience since end-user demands the unparalleled functionality. The huge popularity of AR in mobile apps is attracting organizations to source AR app development expertise while many businesses are seeking to enter into this rising market. Whether it is the fashion industry or the video gaming industry, AR is set to make a seismic impact everywhere.

To Sum up

The process of creating an app based on AR involves a number of stages which require an enhanced expertise. If you possess a great idea for startups and are looking to attract investors, the prudent option is to turn to a good web and mobile app development company or Augmented Reality developers

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About the author
Tarun NagarFounder & CEO at Dev Technosys

Tarun Nagar is the Founder & CEO of Dev Technosys, a global ranking Mobile, and Web Development Company. With 10+ years of experience of enabling then Startups which are now global leaders with creative solutions, he is differentiated by out-of-t...

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