The AR or augmented reality market is growing and expected to touch $162 billion by 2020, according to IDC. The experience that AR solutions bring to a user’s life is what accounts for its rapid growth. More and more companies are becoming part of this revolutionary technology, incorporating techniques that excite the mundane lifestyle of a user.
Aside from success components like design and performance, there are a few challenges that a mobile app development company faces, which are broadly classified as technical and social challenges. Before going about the challenges, it is important to know how augmented reality works.
Augmented reality or AR can be defined as 2D/3D visual integration into a live video content and user environment. The areas where the technology is mostly used are advertising, marketing, healthcare, retail, education, gaming and various other industries.
How Does it Work?
There are currently two types of augmented reality apps.
#1. App Utilizing GPS Data
This type of program has access to GPS tools; it can gather relevant data by finding interest points in the area. These are developed by mobile app developers using various platforms like Layar, Wikitude and Junaio.
#2. Apps That Recognize AR Markers and Images
This type of app captures object and places graphic content on it and determines the position of it through a smartphone camera. There are various SDKs available for it that include ARToolKit, FLARToolKit and others.
There are various challenges faced by a mobile app development company and beyond when developing AR apps. Let’s find out what’s holding them back.
There are many components to be considered by companies who are looking for completely functional AR apps. Although augmented apps are developed in a similar way to other apps, there are some technical challenges that are faced by mobile app developers like Unity 3D engine, hardware, content, concept awareness and education.
- Sensor Readings
- GPS Errors
- Pattern Recognition
The most common type of technical challenge faced by developers is inaccurate sensor readings. The compass and accelerometer in devices are not able to filter the electric interference. Exponential smoothing technique can be used by vendors to remove noise.
The range for correct and accurate GPS readings is 6 meters as of now which is enough for navigation systems and digital maps, but it lags the performance of AR software. A vendor should make sure while employing GPS technology that the AR marker objects are big enough.
Tablets and smartphones have digital cameras that are good enough for users to capture high-quality images but they are not appropriate for the visual content of augmented reality. Vendors can use 2D barcodes and QR codes as AR markers to overcome this limitation.
This is another challenge faced by an app development company. Apps used in augmented reality are similar to other apps and can run on any smartphone or tablet. But the apps lag due to some important hardware elements like cameras, motion sensors, screens, processors as well as internet connectivity.
As well as there are other elements like Google Glass, AR headsets, HoloLens and Meta which are still very difficult for the common public to get which prevents them from experiencing the thrill that AR provides.
The current structures of web applications prevent the vendors from customizing AR browsers as well as integrating the functions into multi-media services and social media platforms.
Limitations in multi-user experience
The current augmented reality services provide a single user experience as they are designed only for tablets, smartphones and other portable devices. The demand for AR apps in bigger devices is also huge, but limitations prevent a proper multi-user experience. The solutions are currently being developed to offer a smooth experience on a bigger device.
Another big challenge faced is the unavailability of content for AR apps. It is the same as having a smartphone but no apps on it.
The general public may soon avail technologies like Google Glass and HoloLens but what about the AR apps and the content that is provided. The demand for interactive contents is huge among users who like to indulge in a unique AR experience but lack of content keeps them at bay at least for now. Companies are, however, working out ways to produce engaging content on a regular basis.
The augmented market is growing but slowly. Due to the unavailability of proper content people are taking steps back on adopting this technology.
Lack of Education and Public Awareness
Apart from the above technical challenges, this can be defined as one of the social challenges that’s currently being encountered by AR app developers. A new technology when developed takes some time to reach people’s ears and same is the case with augmented reality.
There are a lot of users that still don’t know about AR and its potential. So it can be said that augmented reality is still in its early stages and may require some time before common people become fully aware of it.
Above-mentioned are some of the common challenges faced by mobile developers when working on augmented reality apps. Regardless of the challenges with AR, app development companies need to find out ways of creating mobile experiences that are enriched with knowledge and logic. And with big technology giants on board, the future looks bright and promising- over a period of time challenges will disappear.