Augmented Reality (AR) is a technology that has taken the business world by storm. It has the potential to revolutionise the way businesses interact with their customers and has the potential to disrupt traditional business models. From enhancing the customer experience to driving sales, AR has a wide range of benefits that businesses can take advantage of.
In this blog post, we will take a closer look at what augmented reality is, the types of AR, factors affecting the cost of AR and the estimated augmented reality app development costs. And if you’re a business owner or marketer trying to find ways to let your audience know about your product or service, then this blog post will provide you with all the details you need to help you get started in developing an augmented reality app and how this can enhance your business operations and offerings to your target audience.
So, if you’re looking to stay ahead of the curve and take your business to the next level, read on to learn more about the world of augmented reality.
What is Augmented Reality?
Augmented Reality (AR) is a technology that blends digital elements with the physical world, creating a hybrid environment where real and virtual objects coexist and interact. Augmented reality has revolutionized the way we interact with the world around us and has a wide range of applications in various industries.
Augmented reality is different from virtual reality (VR), which creates a completely artificial environment that replaces the real world. On the other hand, augmented reality adds digital information, animated images or graphics to the real world, enhancing our perception of reality.
Virtual Reality (VR) vs Augmented Reality (AR): What’s the Difference?
While both augmented reality and virtual reality are cutting-edge technologies, they serve very different purposes and have different applications. Virtual reality is an immersive technology that places the user in a completely artificial environment, typically viewed through a headset. This environment can be completely computer-generated or a combination of live-action footage and computer graphics. Furthermore, virtual reality is best known for its use in gaming and entertainment, but it is also being used in industries such as education, training, and healthcare.
On the other hand, AR is a technology that enhances the real-world environment with digital information and media, typically viewed through a smartphone or tablet camera. AR allows users to interact with digital content in real-time, in context with the physical world around them. AR has a wide range of applications in industries such as retail, advertising, education, and manufacturing.
Examples of Augmented Reality Apps
The growing popularity of AR, due to its ability to enhance interaction with 3D technology, has made it a valuable tool for companies such as Pfizer, Discovery Channel, Shell Oil, and Procter & Gamble. These companies use AR applications for enhancing training and reducing safety incidents in the workplace.
The development cost of an AR app is dependent on the duration of development and the features incorporated. Many businesses are still exploring the cost of AR app development.
Some examples of augmented reality apps include AR-powered mobile games such as Pokémon Go, AR advertising that allows users to visualize products in their home environment, and AR training and education tools that provide interactive and engaging learning experiences.
Indeed, the use of augmented reality applications is rapidly growing, and businesses and brands are starting to take notice. Furthermore, an AR application can enable businesses to create new and innovative marketing strategies, engage customers in new and exciting ways, and improve their overall marketing efforts.
The potential of augmented reality is vast and continues to grow, making it a technology that businesses, marketers, and advertisers need to pay attention to.
Let’s look at the different types of augmented reality so businesses can gain a deeper understanding of the development process that would happen later on when you decide to employ it in your business.
Types of Augmented Reality
There are several types of augmented reality, each with its unique features and applications. In this section, we’ll discuss some of the most commonly used AR technologies and how they can benefit businesses and brands.
1. Marker-based AR
This type of augmented reality uses a specific image or object as a trigger to display digital content. For example, a customer could scan a product’s barcode with their smartphone screen, and the AR mobile app would display additional features about the product, such as its price or a promotional offer. Examples of marker-based AR are:
QR code scanning in retail stores to see product details and reviews
An augmented reality app that provides all the details about exhibits
An augmented reality game that brings the game characters or pieces to life
2. Markerless AR
This type of augmented reality uses the camera and sensors on mobile devices that would often need a Wi-Fi connection to recognize and track the environment, and display digital content without the need for a specific image or object.
Markerless AR is often used in advertising, where digital content is overlaid in real-world environments, such as city streets or billboards. Examples of markerless AR are:
Augmented reality filters for social media apps such as Snapchat and Instagram
Augmented reality ads that appear in real-world environments when viewed through a smartphone camera
Augmented reality navigation systems that provide directions and information about surrounding buildings and landmarks
3. Projection AR
This type of AR projects digital content onto real-world surfaces, such as walls or floors with physical objects in them. It is commonly used in events, trade shows, and retail environments to create immersive and interactive experiences for the target audience. This type of augmented reality can be seen as:
Interactive displays in shopping centres and trade show with the help of an augmented reality app
Augmented reality apps as seen in concerts and events add special effects and graphics to the stage
Augmented reality app for product demonstrations in retail stores
4. Spatial AR
This type of augmented reality blends digital content with the physical environment in real-time, creating a seamless integration of the virtual and real worlds. Spatial AR is typically used in industrial settings, such as manufacturing and engineering, to improve workflow and increase productivity. Here are some of the uses of this type of augmented reality.
Augmented reality app that is used for industrial training and simulations
AR app where is used in maintenance and repair in manufacturing and engineering
An AR app used to enhance collaboration and design review in architecture and construction
Each of these AR technologies has its unique benefits and limitations, but what they all have in common is the ability to create innovative, engaging, and memorable experiences for customers.
As businesses, marketers, and advertisers look for new and innovative ways to reach and engage with their target audience, AR technology provides a rich opportunity to create powerful and impactful experiences.
In the next section, we’ll delve into the various ways that Augmented Reality (AR) can bring value to businesses, from enhancing customer experiences to improving operational efficiency.
Benefits of Augmented Reality for Businesses
Augmented Reality (AR) technology has the potential to transform the way businesses operate and engage with customers. Here are some key benefits of AR for businesses:
1. Improved Customer Engagement
AR allows businesses to create interactive and engaging experiences for customers, improving their overall engagement and loyalty. AR can be used in advertising, marketing, and sales to showcase products and services in a new and innovative way, helping to differentiate a business from its competitors.
Here are some potential uses of an AR app for businesses:
A furniture retailer using an AR mobile app to let customers see how furniture would look in their home before making a purchase
A cosmetics brand using an AR app to let customers try on different shades and products virtually before buying
A car manufacturer using custom AR app to give customers an interactive and immersive tour of their cars
2. Increased Sales and Revenue
An AR app can help businesses drive sales and revenue by providing customers with new and innovative ways to engage with products and services. For example, AR-powered product visualisation and customisation can help customers make more informed buying decisions, leading to increased sales and revenue.
Here are some potential uses of an AR app for businesses:
An electronics retailer using an AR app to showcase products to engage and drive customers’ interest and sales
A real estate company using an AR app to give virtual tours of properties, making the sales process more efficient and increasing revenue
A fashion retailer using an AR app to let customers customise and purchase clothing and accessories in real-time
3. Enhanced Marketing Efforts
AR apps provide businesses with new and innovative marketing opportunities, helping to reach and engage with customers uniquely and memorably. AR applications can drive awareness and interest in a business and its products and services.
Here are some potential uses of AR apps for businesses:
A beverage company using an AR app in their print advertisements to bring their products to life and drive customer engagement
An event promoter using an AR app to create an immersive experience for attendees, promoting future events and increasing brand awareness
A beauty brand using AR apps to create an interactive and educational experience for customers, promoting brand awareness and driving sales
4. Improved Workflow and Productivity
An AR app can also be used to improve workflow and productivity in various industries, such as manufacturing, engineering, and construction. For example, augmented reality app development used for training and simulations can help employees learn and retain information faster while using AR apps that can help maintenance and repair to improve efficiency and reduce downtime.
Here are some potential uses of AR apps for businesses:
A construction company that would employ augmented reality app development to enhance collaboration and design review, improving efficiency and reducing the need for physical mock-ups
A manufacturing company using AR apps to provide employees with hands-on training and simulations, reducing training time and improving employee retention
A repair and maintenance company may work in an augmented reality app development to assist in the diagnosis and repair process, reducing downtime and improving efficiency
5. Cost Saving
Augmented reality app development may also be cost-efficient in the long run as it can reduce the need for physical prototypes, samples, and mock-ups. An AR app that is used for product visualisation and customisation may help to reduce the cost of product returns and exchanges, as customers can see and try products before they buy.
Here are some potential uses of AR app development that businesses may want to explore for their products or services:
An automotive company may work on designing an AR app development to visualise and customise car parts and accessories, reducing the cost of physical prototypes and samples
An architectural firm may design an AR app development to create virtual buildings and design mock-ups, reducing the cost of physical prototypes and materials
A product design company may use an augmented reality application to let customers customise products virtually, reducing the cost of product returns and exchanges.
How Much Does AR Cost?
As a business owner, you may ask, “so, how much does augmented reality app development cost?” When answering this question, there is no guaranteed one-size-fits-all formula that would exactly provide you with the exact price.
The reason for this is that the cost of implementing AR technology varies widely. When determining the cost of AR app development, there are three key factors to consider: scope of work, timeline, and development team.
1. Scope of work
The scope of work encompasses the features, complexity of the app logic, and all necessary tasks involved in developing and launching the app, such as quality assurance, project management, and post-launch support and maintenance.
The timeline factor can impact the cost, as rush projects often result in higher expenses. Exceptions to this rule may apply to prototypes and minimum viable products.
3. Development Team
The development team’s hourly rate, which is influenced by experience and location, is a crucial factor in determining the overall cost and is calculated by multiplying the timeline by the team’s hourly rate.
It is important to keep in mind that AR is an investment in the future of a business, and the benefits can far outweigh the costs. AR technology can help businesses improve customer engagement, increase sales and revenue, enhance marketing efforts, improve workflow and productivity, and save costs in the long run.
What’s Involved in AR Development?
Once a deadline and cost have been established through planning and estimation, developers must use their technical expertise and skills to create a functional operating system for the app.
1. Coding and Programming
A dedicated team is required to integrate various programming elements and features into an AR app, which can be costly. On average, coding and programming expenses for AR range from $37,000 to $90,000.
An example of design in AR can be seen in games such as Angry Birds, where detailed designs and bold colours are incorporated into menu pages and digital art. The cost of design may increase with the addition of logos, colour schemes, and typography for each feature and page, including the sign-in page, checkout, main menu, etc. Design expenses typically fall between $30,000 and $40,000.
Proper testing of an augmented reality app requires a significant amount of time to ensure that all elements are functioning as intended. If errors are found during the testing process, such as mistyped code, additional costs may be incurred to correct them. Testing expenses can average between $12,000 and $18,000.
How Does Project Type Impact AR App Cost?
The cost of an AR application development is affected by the type of project. These include:
Simple demo or minimum viable product (MVP) app
Advanced app with custom features
Complex, enterprise-level app utilizing specialized algorithms
The augmented reality app development cost for each project will vary based on its level of complexity, features, and required expertise. A precise cost estimate for AR application development is not possible without considering the visual aspect of the app. The visual design plays a crucial role in determining a reliable cost estimate.
Let’s examine these three project types.
1. Basic or MVP AR App Development Cost
Minimal Viable Product (MVP) is a term used to describe a demo version of an app that tests the most important features before investing in the full product. An MVP allows developers to present a demo using AR, providing clients with a more interactive experience compared to traditional presentations. The cost of an MVP is typically lower since it includes pre-installed controls and coding, saving both time and money.
2. Customized AR App Development Costs
An app with added features and customisation requires a branded logo to make it official. For instance, a car design app offers various options and categories to give customers a realistic experience in selecting the best model and colour in real-time.
These types of apps tend to cost more due to the hourly rate involved in creating features such as sign-in, checkout, sharing, catalogue, API integration, and back-end development.
3. Enterprise AR App Development Costs
Augmented Reality can serve as a tool for interaction with work environments and products, as well as improving training for staff, presentations, and knowledge distribution. For example, some AR apps have been designed to make grocery shopping easier by providing stock locations, food product recommendations and reviews, reminders to restock groceries and nutrition information.
These types of AR apps require more advanced technology and programming, which increases both time and cost to include these features.
Using a Software Development Kit (SDK)
Developers may opt to use a Software Development Kit (SDK) to create AR applications that can be integrated into specific hardware platforms like iPhone or Android. Using an SDK reduces both the AR app development cost and time as it provides the necessary components that the hardware supports. This makes it easier and more efficient to develop augmented reality applications.
Selecting the appropriate technology stack depends on the objectives and nature of the project. Typically, the development team determines the most suitable technology stack for the app, which can be marker-based apps, markerless, projection-based, or superimposition-based AR.
Bringing Your AR Vision to Life with Superpixel
At Superpixel, we are an animation production company that specialises in helping businesses bring their AR visions to life. Our team of experienced animators and designers are dedicated to delivering high-quality animation content that captivates customers and drives results for businesses.
We can help businesses like you with your AR projects by providing services including:
We work with businesses to understand their goals and requirements and help them develop their AR concepts and ideas into tangible and workable solutions. We take the time to understand your vision and help you create AR experiences that are tailored to your specific needs.
Design and Development
Our team of experts will bring your AR vision to life through expert design and development services. We create high-quality animated content that is engaging, interactive, and visually appealing. Our goal is to help you create AR content that captivates your customers and drives results for your business.
Let us help you create engaging and interactive AR content that will captivate your customers and drive results for your business.
Contact us today to learn how we can help bring your AR vision to life. Our team is ready to help you create engaging and interactive AR content that will captivate your customers and drive results for your business.
Let your business take the first step towards a brighter future with augmented reality!