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Most popular questions

  • What is augmented reality [AR]?

    AR is the technology designed to overlay 3D models onto—and into—the physical world.

  • How does an AR app work?

    An AR app usually requires the following steps:

    • Users start an app on their smartphones then put a camera on a marker. It can be any image the smartphone can easily identify as a marker (a company’s logo, a special image, etc.)
    • The app identifies a marker then downloads a 3D model (video or/and audio effects) users see on their smartphone screens (or hear in headphones).
    • Users interact with 3D models depending on the app features.
  • What is the difference between augmented reality [AR] and virtual reality [VR]?

    The basic difference between AR and VR: virtual reality replaces the real world with a computer-generated one; augmented reality adds elements to the world that do not really exist.

  • How can I use AR?

    There are several ways to use AR. The most common include:

    1. Product design and modeling
    2. Events and trade shows
    3. Showrooms and configurators
    4. AR toys and games
    5. Training and e-learning
  • What hardware does AR require?

    Any smartphone or tablet with Android 4.0.3+ / iOS 8.0+ onboard can run an AR app.

  • Where is AR currently being used the most (what industries and products)?

    AR is an easy to present things visually:  

    Games and toys – enable playing with favorite toys through smartphone screens with completely new experiences. The same goes for games. Almost everyone knows about Pokémon Go and Ingress. Also, there are many AR mini-games helping kids get an idea about various, everyday subjects like animals, Homo sapiens, planets etc.

    Museums and tourism – display extra information, visualize items related to different historical periods and re-create certain historical events related to the object being viewed.

    Furniture manufacturers – help users “try out” furniture at home. Users can see how well a certain piece of furniture fits in a room.

    Publishing businesses – present interactive illustrations with AR apps or create visualized stories.

    Retail and marketing – provide advertising information by overlaying advertising objects onto the real world to increase confidence of potential buyers.

    Real estate – show information and visualize buildings available for sale by projecting images of these properties.

    Repair – display how building/home interiors will look like after construction has been completed (e.g., when choosing wall paint).

    Medicine – visualize techniques that can be applied in surgery and in studies at research laboratories.

    Education – create incredibly dynamic material with AR illustrations.

    Sports – provide a more informative description for rules of a game or for a training exercise.

    Virtual showrooms and/or e-commerce configurators – interact with a product model when and where you want or see its real dimensions: in your room, in your hands, anywhere, everywhere.

  • What are the big growth areas ahead?

    Any business that wants to bring their products to life needs augmented reality. You extend your sales strategy by allowing your customers to almost touch your products.

  • What are the first steps companies or entrepreneurs should take to determine how AR fits into what they are doing?

    Businesses must define who their end users are and determine exactly how an AR app will benefit their efforts. For example, you produce or sell something. Does your client need to hold it in his or her hands and examine how it looks from various angles? Or, perhaps, clients need to try something on or see how well the item fits in with any other things? Can your client download an app and do this from home? If yes, you probably need augmented reality.

    Businesses should make a list of requirements for the app and show those requirements to a representative of an IT company in order to get a quote.

  • How long does it take to develop a company’s custom AR application?

    It usually depends on the number of features and the degree of customization. Numbers can vary greatly, as does the length of time to develop the app. It is possible to develop a simple custom app within 500 working hours—about 2 months from feature requirements through coding and testing to release. However, when the project has custom features, it needs a special estimate which is usually discussed with the development team.  

  • How much does an AR cost?

    Cost depends directly on the hourly rate of the development team. However, it might be reasonable to hire an experienced team so that both business logic and 3D graphics work smoothly. An AR app is another shop window, so it must demonstrate your products in the best way.

    Also, you need a license for an AR engine. The annual cost is about $2K.

    You also need a server to run back-end calculations and someone to maintain your infrastructure (which is a typical infrastructure when you maintain an e-commerce web or mobile solution).

  • How can businesses profit from an AR app?

    The most obvious way is a set fee but that is unlikely to generate much income in a world full of free apps.

    However, here are the features that enable revenue from a free app:

    • subscription
    • in-app purchases
    • ads and featured offers
    • premium features
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