Augmented reality is in the spotlight. The technology used to layer computer-generated elements (graphics, 3D animations, videos, etc.) on top of a users’ view of the real world has just experienced a 35% growth in the AR app market.
According to data collected by Aeon Mobile Research from September 2017 to February 2018, the number of AR apps in circulation jumped from 17.000 to 23.000. The retail/e-tail category had the highest growth with an outstanding 82% increase in AR apps. Followed by 72% in gaming, 62% in art, and 50% in the productivity category, these numbers leave no room for doubt: AR is on the rise!

AR App Market Growth (September 2017 – February 2018)

As seen in the chart above, AR-enhanced apps are experiencing growth in every major sector of the AR app industry. Part of that success is due to the variety of features that augmented reality can provide. Continue reading to learn more about the most common AR features in the market today.

Augmented Reality Features

GEO-LOCATION AR

The AR experience is triggered by the user’s position. Users can visualize and interact with AR content that has been placed in specific locations worldwide. The usage varies from restaurant reviews left by other customers all the way to Pokémon hunting journeys.

Curious fact: the roots of AR started with location-based experiences and, almost a decade ago, Wikitude was the company which launched the very first location-based AR app.

MARKER BASED AR (IMAGE RECOGNITION)

The AR experience is triggered by a targeted image (or multiple targeted images). Users scan predetermined recognizable images to view and interact with AR content. It works with a single image as well as with multiple images. Once the target image is recognized, users can move their device around the subject and continue viewing the AR content. Multiple targets can also interact with one another. This technology is widely used in marketing and e-commerce and its usage varies from AR enriched catalogs, board games, museum guides and more.

MARKERLESS SLAM BASED AR (INSTANT TRACKING)

The AR experience is triggered by arbitrary environments. SLAM technology (Simultaneous Localization and Mapping) allows users to scan previously mapped environments to view and interact with AR content. Most commonly used in client engagement campaigns to promote products as well as in home decor apps, in which users can see how a furniture piece will look like in their environment before the actual purchase.

OBJECT RECOGNITION

The AR experience is triggered by objects. SLAM technology (Simultaneous Localization and Mapping) allows users to scan previously mapped real-world objects, such as toys, sculptures, architectural models, product packaging, industrial machines and more to view and interact with AR content in a 360-degree manner. Currently being used in product modeling, design, assembly and other areas.

INTEGRATION WITH ARKit and ARCore

A function which integrates Apple’s ARKit, Google’s ARCore and a full-feature engine in a single SDK.
As seen above, each AR project requires a specific AR feature. The Wikitude SDK, which provides a cross-platform solution for +100.000 AR developers worldwide, includes all of the above mentioned AR features which can be implemented through various frameworks: Native API, JavaScript API and any of the following plugins and extensions: Unity Plugin, Cordova Plugin, Titanium Module, Xamarin Component, and Plugins API.

Got inspired by one of the AR features detailed above? Make your app unique, appealing and engaging by including an augmented reality experience.

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