AR App Development Tools: Proven Best Choices

Maxim, AR Evangelist - June 28, 2015
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Applications that deliver benefits of Augmented Reality to users become irreplaceable additions to numerous educational programs, marketing campaigns, gaming and navigation experiences, science, engineering and much more. But every great, innovative solution needs to be created first and accurate tools tailored to properly blend two worlds: reality and virtual elements must be looked at for deep consideration.

Augmented Reality application development involves a lot of pressure. Considering this industry is considerably new people are awaiting new solutions and are imagining untold wonders while waiting. Failing to meet their expectations may be a devastating flaw thus development becomes more intimidating. Appropriate choice of tools you will be implementing your AR solution into reality with is a hard choice indeed. But if all was done wisely your business would step several feet closer to success. Thus we provide you a list of tools we, at QArea, have already tested out and consider them valuable additions in mobile AR app development:

  • Vuforia. This AR giant surely could not be missed from our list as it’s one of best-spread and well known platforms tailored for Augmented Reality development in existence. And for a reason (several even). Vuforia by Qualcomm is a platform + SDK that can serve as an astonishing base for any type of development and is multi-platform meaning apps for iOS, Android and headset wearable devices can be developed and deployed with comfort. A set of features such as understanding and clear analysis of highly detailed images (like ones in magazines), object recognition and tracking, frame markers and more transform Vuforia into a truly remarkable assistant. Strong sides:
    • Occlusion management
    • Background effects
    • Extended tracking (allows to deliver rich experiences even if targets are out of view)
    • Smart Terrain TM (creates a 3-D map of surrounding environment in real time thus apps can interact with literally anything from the physical world)
  • ARTool Kit. This tool’s greatest aspect is its price. ARTool Kit is free. And, unlike most free solutions this software packs quite a punch in terms of AR development. Surely its functionality is slightly limited if compared to premium tools but there is nothing talented developers cannot overcome. Benefits:
    • Modular, open source code allows great levels of modification and customization
    • Support for platforms like Android, iOS, Linux, Mac OSX and Windows
    • Support of Unity and an impressive set of model format and rendering options
  • Layar. This tool may not be your first obvious choice as it’s quite limited in several aspects. However Layar has one astonishing aspect – it’s insanely easy in use. Surely it can only assist in development of some simplest applications, but Layar software does so with style and grace. Basically, if you do not require much more than transforming a certain object into a nice AR ad – Layar should do the trick just fine. It’s strong side is transforming objects like magazine pages into:
    • Social media hubs
    • Media players
    • Connection boosters and conversation starters

Hope this list was useful to you. In either case these solutions are a swell starting point. Surely there are quite more than three AR development tools in existence but we would like to keep several aces up our sleeve just in case. Oh, you know: business advantages and professional secrets. Always there to ruin a great party, right? You can still order AR development from QArea and you’ll definitely find out more=)

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