AR (Augmented Reality) applications and solutions are considered to be the next leap towards technological miracles of the future. Despite AR technologies were used for quite a while now they were considered as mere toys for too long. Before revolutionary headsets like MS Hololens were released, or advanced marketing campaigns from top players like Pepsi and Ikea were launched – these innovations remained hidden from wider public.
No, it’s not like these technologies were banned or overprotected. They were simply not astonishing enough while born. People could visualize some animations of moving objects fused with image received from a smartphones camera, nothing more. However that was years ago and most IT players as well as other future-oriented businesses have already realized true value AR apps may offer in terms of business, customer loyalty, advertising, education, brand awareness and more. There is no point explaining how astonishing AR is in terms of newly opened opportunities, if you are here and reading these words you probably wish to find out how to get started, right?
So how does one start gaining actual business value from AR solutions?
Augmented Reality applications and their core functionality should not trick you with but fancy looks. Solutions of this level must not be considered as one more resource for the industry of entertainment. In fact it was originally invented as a solution for engineering purposes and was aimed at assisting manufacturers of Boeing airplanes. So now that we have learned AR has more punch than you probably gave it credit for lets go heads down to tips for actual development planning.
- Emphasize unique functionality of AR solutions. This niche of development is considerably new and may still astonish users with something fresh, something outstanding. This is the stage where most businesses fail. Choosing a trusty path someone has monetized on before may become your mortal flaw. Be bold. Invent something new, outside the box and you will get both recognition and harvest from colossal ROI. This is one of AR development industry’s core principals and demands.
- Never get carried away with functionality. Be innovative, but don’t allow your solution be too complex. First of all this might not be reasonable in terms of investing both dollars and hours into tiresome development. Secondly users are still not too familiar with interfaces and may reject something you have already invested in simply because “they don’t get it”. Risks are still high considering you are taking a brand new road. AR and its 3-D modeling and video functionality is astonishing with visualizing abstract concepts of things and activities people have no references to in their minds. Use this in the planning stage and embrace it while designing requirements.
- Embrace visualization. AR is commonly known for just such functionality. Imagine your business with the power to give away appropriate directions to people in real time and in real life while they stroll around or drive their vehicle. You can deliver simple arrows to your nearest point of interest thus making their life easier and your business more profitable. Or you can create unforgettable guides and how-to’s with unmatched levels of visualization and improve brand awareness significantly. Possibilities are limitless as long as you remain an appropriate focus.
- Consider possible changes from the very beginning. Software grows and updates too fast these days. Innovation become ‘yesterday’s news’ faster that one can say “monetization”. You will need updates, patches and additions in functionality in the future. Plan such events in advance and leave room for new content or features. This way you will save a lot of money, time and efforts in the future as plugging something in is considerably easier than smashing the same thing in place with a hammer.
- Invest in UX/UX. Make this factors your priority. AR is still considerably new and people await new solutions but they are used to comfort at the same time. Ensure maximum comfort and stability, especially if you are designing apps for headsets. It wouldn’t be cool if any ad or piece of functionality would block a person’s line of view, right?
- Test, test and test again. Your newest and hottest achievement has no right to fail or crash on people. Such blows might become devastating to your entire marketing strategy and your brand name. If you decide to take a brand new Cadillac for a test drive and it breaks on you would you buy it? Continuous Integration would be of great assistance in terms of AR QA. Knowing what any new update caused on overall performance and keeping your finger on the entire process of development 24/7 has its benefits, right?
- Do not expect miracles! AR software is great and innovative and beautiful and much-much more. But it is still software and you should expect same results any other non-AR app can offer. There is but one difference: this domain is new and fresh of overwhelming competition thus giving you a great chance to cash your ideas in. So think fast!