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AR Development & The Future of Mixed Reality

augmented-reality

Augmented reality, also known as AR, is one of the newest technologies that is certain to shape our future in the coming decades. Whether you are a game designer or you want to use AR for business purposes such as demonstrations or to improve your current products or services, developing an augmented reality application is definitely going to put you above the rest. But how do you go about developing an augmented reality application? How do you know what to develop in the first place? In addition, how much does developing an AR application cost and is it within your budget? We will be looking at all of these factors and more as we delve into everything you need to know about what it takes to create an augmented reality application.

What is Augmented Reality?

One of the first questions that you have to know the answer to his exactly what is augmented reality. Augmented reality is simply the introduction of virtual elements into the real world using some sort of digital medium. Right now, the technology is still very young and most augmented reality happens through a mobile device’s camera system. Digital elements are added to the images that you see through your camera feed. These are often live images of whatever your phone or mobile devices currently seeing, but it could be something that you recorded in the past or even video that someone else is recording and you are viewing.

In the future, augmented reality is going to be much different. As virtual reality and augmented reality evolve, so are the ways that people access it going to evolve. For example, virtual reality right now uses bulky headsets that do not give you a full VR experience simply due to the fact that you always remember that you are wearing a VR helmet. It is almost impossible to forget. This is the same with augmented reality. However, augmented reality is extremely useful from a business perspective even if you are using a mobile device. But in the future, people will wear devices that give them augmented reality or even virtual reality without any indication to themselves or others that they are even wearing such a device.

How to Develop an AR Application

The development of an AR application starts with the documentation. If you are familiar with how software is developed, then you’re probably already familiar with the process of creating a development document. This is a standard component for everything from simple mobile applications to AAA mega games. You have a couple of choices when it comes to developing your AR application. You can either go the independent route and build the team that you need yourself, or you can go with a company that already knows how to develop augmented reality applications. For most companies, the latter is preferred because all you need to bring to them is an idea and they can help you with everything else.

What Kind of AR Application Should You Develop?

Of course, you have to come up with the idea in the first place. That might be tough depending upon what kind of company you have and what kind of products or services you are trying to showcase. If you are a game developer, your task may even be harder because you have to figure out what gains are out there already, what games are not going to be appropriate for AR because of the limitations of the technology currently and what is really going to capture people’s interest enough to make back the money that you invested into the game. For companies, investing in an AR application is a little easier because they are promoting products and services that they will be making money on with the added sales from the inclusion of AR. For games, you must rely upon game sales or advertiser revenue in order to make developing an AR application viable.

How Much Does AR Cost to Create?

The question of how much AR actually cost to develop will depend upon many different factors. You first have to determine what sort of application you’re going to develop and what asset you will need for that development. Assets include sound, visual elements and all of the things that people see and hear within your environment. If you are showcasing products, then you have to consider what sort of information you’re going to include with each product with augmented reality. Are you planning on giving people more information about the product? Are you planning on using AR to demonstrate how people use it and therefore will need lots of moving elements within your AR? If you are creating a game, then things get even more complicated as you have to come up with levels, elements, sound, music and more. But you also have to be concerned with the programming side of the development. Creating the elements that you will need for your AR application is only half of the story. Your assets will need to be made to do what you want them to do with code and for that you’re going to need experienced programmers who know how to work within the AR environment.

The Bottom Line: Should You Create an AR Application?

The big question is should you really create an AR application? Is it going to be worth it for you? That’s something that only you can decide but keep in mind that what you’re doing isn’t just creating something for specific returns. What you are doing is creating a place for yourself in the future of business or gaming. Very few businesses are currently making use of augmented reality and there are not very many games being developed with the technology either. That will change as the technology improves, but you will have a significant head start if you are already using AR within your business or to create games. So the returns that you get may not be as important.