We can simply define the augmented reality as “Integration of digital information with the user environment“. You will be surprised to know that you already are familiar with such applications & games. Well, the image on the left is the hint for you. Yes, Pokemon GO uses location based augmented reality. The game saw a relatively huge success in very short span. Augmented reality is the combination of virtual objects on real world environment. For example, in Pokémon GO game you usually see Pokémons (virtual objects) on the real world road you are walking on or may be on some other real world objects.

It is getting increasingly popular among gamers and game developers. But, it’s no way limited to just games. In this article we’ll try to have insights into how it works and what are the current advancements in this area.

Basic Concept of Augmented Reality

“Augmented reality (AR) is a live direct or indirect view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are “augmented” by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data.”  –Wikipedia

In more simple words, you can place virtual objects in the real-world environment which can be viewed basically using the camera of your device.

Top Market Players of Augmented Reality:

Following are the top market players of augmented reality in present time.

Pokémon GO: Undoubtedly, it’s the most successful game that uses AR (augmented reality). It recorded more than 750 million downloads and an overall revenue of more than $950 million. It uses camera and GPS of your smartphone to show your avatar roaming around the actual map and virtual objects called Pokémon on the real-world things.

Google Translate: It uses augmented reality features to show the translated texts on your smart phone via the camera app. While this app has many other features ranging from translating speech, real-time video etc., translating image texts to other language uses the AR feature.

As in the picture shown on the right, you just need to scan the image with text in the other language with the help of Google Translate app and you can get the translated text of your desired language. It is available for both Android and iOS mobile apps.

Zombies GO: I personally, love this game. Zombies will be walking around you in your real world room and you need to kill thoseusing different strategies. It uses more or less similar strategies like the Pokémon GO game. There are various features to explore for you like you can make the zombies stand at their current positions until you are finished with other jobs.

There are thousands of apps available in the stores to explore. If you are extremely new to these things, I would like to suggest you to go ahead and download your first AR app or game to see it in reality.

What are the requirements?

AR apps generally use –

  1. Camera
  2. Accelerometer
  3. Rotation sensor
  4. GPS
  5. Screen

This article is just to showcase an overview rather than providing technical steps and procedures for building AR apps. So, we’ll be just discussing few things here and for further study one may look for a detailed article or some tutorials among a large no. of them available in the internet.

What is The Difference Between AR and VR?

Most of the time people get confused between these two terms – augmented reality & virtual reality. In simple words virtual reality is the complete simulation of real world environment while augmented reality is the combination of virtual & real-world environment.

Tools for AR App Development

There are many tools available to build AR apps. While I have tried a few but I like the Unity + .Net + Vuforia for my AR app development.

Here are a few suggestions-

  1. Vuforia: Uses Unity editor. Supported platforms are iOS, Android, UWP, OpenGL etc.
  2. EasyAR: For all of the above platforms but it’s completely free.
  3. Wikitude
  4. ARToolKit
  5. Kudan
  6. Maxst
  7. Xzimg
  8. NyARToolKit

Conclusion

This really is an area which has bright future and still is in its early phase. We can expect to see some unbelievable advancement in near future.

I Hope, you liked the article and got motivated to create your own AR app. ESSPL is one of the IT services & solutions provider company in the world. If you have any suggesion regarding this article then please comment in the box below.

All the best. Happy coding.