17 Aug 2017 What Are The Best Tools For Mobile AR App Development
In our previous article we discussed about the benefits of augmented reality for mobile marketing world. In order to achieve those results you need to find a solution for building that type of app. As we promised, we will share with you the most efficient tools that can help you create a mobile augmented reality app. Additionally, we will talk about the advantages and disadvantages of each platform because you need to discover all the insights before making a decision which will cost you time and money. Keep in mind that many features come with a price. So, if you want a powerful app you should be prepared to buy the suitable license.
Table of Contents
Types Of Mobile Augmented Reality Applications
Before starting our list, it is essential to understand the types of augmented reality apps when you want to build one for yourself.
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Marker – Based
Marker – based apps are used for image recognition like a face or a special object with the help of phone’s camera. After this step, an overlay with computer – generated graphics is added over the marker.
Location – Based
Location – based apps are those apps which detect your location using GPS, compasses and accelerometers. Next, digital objects are added to that specific landscape for creating an interesting visual effect.
Tools For Mobile Augmented Reality App Development
Now, it is time to reveal the most popular instruments that can help you to build your augmented reality app.
Vuforia is one of the most used platforms for AR effects. It detects a wide range of elements like boxes, cylinders, objects, user – defined images or text and it allows you to add background effects, videos and buttons. It will help you to build interesting applications for both Android and iOS devices. If you want to create games you will be happy to hear that it is compatible with Unity. You can try all these features for free, but if you want to publish your app you will need to pay, according to your needs and your app category.
ARToolKit is an open source SDK developed by DAQRI so you can use it for free with personal and commercial benefits. It offers solutions for Android and iOS apps and it is very easy to import the wanted APIs for your projects. You will start by choosing from various examples and you will add the code inside your IDE. For game development, it also has a version for Unity. With camera calibration feature and being able to detect various objects, it can be the right solution for those app owners with a small budget.
Wikitude is one of the most popular platforms, which offers you everything you can imagine for building your AR app, from image recognition and tracking, to multiple images target and, also the distance to image target. An advantage would be the developer page with all the support you need like forum, blog, documentation and video tutorials. Of course, everything comes with a cost so you should check the pricing plans before making your decision. You can choose between one – time fee or yearly subscription and you will have a single app for multiple platforms.
ARLab offers different SDKs according to your plans. In case you want geolocation features for your app then AR Browser will help you to customize the tool you need. But if you plan to implement an image recognition engine then you will need Image Matching which matches multiple images at a time with QR Codes detection. And the best part is that you won’t need Internet connection to make it functional. The prices are the same whether you will build Android or iOS apps, but you have to check the pricing list before starting with the development process.
DroidAR is an augmented reality location – based framework for Android apps but it also offers solutions for marker – based AR apps. The advantage is that you can use the SDK for free, but the problem is that it doesn’t provide any option for iOS devices. In case you want to find out more about the capabilities of this product you can check the demo videos available on the official page, but you can also contribute to improving the code.
MAXST released recently a new version called MAXST AR SDK 3.0 for helping a developer to create impressive Augmented Reality apps and it offers Image Tracker, Instant Tracker, Visual SLAM, 3D Space Tracker, QR / Barcode Scanner. The features provided allow you to build powerful AR applications for Android and iOS devices. In case you want to try all these elements for personal projects you don’t have to pay anything, but for commercial use, you must select the suitable license for your app.
EasyAR is an affordable platform for developing augmented reality apps because it offers a lot of options even for the basic version. You will be amazed to discover that among the features listed for the free SDK are multi – target simultaneous detection and tracking. It also supports Unity 3D and cloud recognition. You don’t need to worry about the platforms because EasyAR is available for Android with Java API and iOS with Objective – C API. In case you want more advanced instruments like screen recording or 3D object tracking you should know that you will have a free trial for maximum 100 times uses per day.
Now that we completed our tour we must say that we are here just to bring in front of you various solutions for creating an augmented reality app. It is your turn to analyze them and to choose the one that matches your business. Think about the type of app you want to build, the budget you have and the features provided by each tool. Feel free to share your feedback in comments if you used one of them when you wanted to generate AR effects for your app. We will be glad to read them.