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Looking for the ultimate guide to choosing the right enterprise AR solution?
You’ve found it. In this article, we will discuss how to plan your enterprise AR solution the right way.
The importance of an augmented reality enterprise strategy
AR is still a relatively new technology, and it’s evolving rapidly. You need a sound augmented reality enterprise strategy to successfully utilize it in your business. Such a strategy will help you to unlock valuable digital information, superimpose them on physical objects and environments, and derive business value.
Read more about the importance of an AR strategy in “Why every organization needs an augmented reality strategy”.
How do you formulate such a strategy? This involves the following:
- You need to ask the following questions:
- Is there a genuine AR use case for the industry in question?
- Will AR help your business to create differentiators?
- Will you build AR capabilities in-house, or, will you engage an AR development partner?
- Define what AR capabilities you need, either in-house or from a partner.
- Determine what digital content you need.
- Understand the physical environment in which the app user will interact with the app, and plan for it.
- Plan how you will deliver the AR experience. You can deliver it via an AR app with the complete content, however, if the physical environment changes, then you will need to modify the app.
- Alternatively, you can host the AR experience on the cloud, which an AR app can download. This is called the “Content Publishing Model”.
You can read “A manager’s guide to augmented reality” for a deeper understanding of how to build an augmented reality enterprise strategy.
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What should the best enterprise AR solutions offer?
The best enterprise AR solutions should offer the following features/advantages:
- They should offer SDKs to ease the development of AR apps.
- The SDK should effectively perform the core task of integrating digital content with the real-world environment.
- A great AR SDK carries out important tasks like content rendering, AR tracking, scene recognition, etc.
- Such SDKs should come with their own properties that allow AR developers to recognize, render, and track the application optimally.
Read more about these features in “12 best-augmented reality SDKs”.
A review of prominent enterprise AR solutions
Let’s review a few key enterprise AR solutions, which are as follows:
ARKit is from Apple, and it’s a powerful framework for developing AR apps. The following quick facts are notable with respect to ARKit:
- The framework is for compatible Apple devices like the iPhone and iPad.
- ARKit offers “Reality Composer”, which is a powerful tool to create AR experiences.
- RealityKit is the powerful high-level AR framework from ARKit, and together with Reality Composer, it makes AR app development easier.
- ARKit offers “Simultaneous Localization and Mapping” (SLAM), which is useful for constructing a map for an unknown environment. SLAM is important for the long-term growth of AR.
- The other key capabilities of ARKit are ambient lighting estimation, scale estimation, vertical plain estimation, horizontal plane estimation, and robust motion tracking.
- You can read the ARKit documentation here.
ARCore is the popular AR framework from Google. Note the following relevant facts about ARCore:
- This framework supports both Android and iOS devices. The iOS devices need to be compatible with ARKit, and they must be iOS 11.0 or later. You can view a list of devices that ARCore supports, here.
- ARCore is a powerful framework, and it can estimate real-world lighting conditions.
- Another advantage of ARCore is the ability to detect the size and location of vertical, horizontal, and angled surfaces.
- Motion tracking is a key feature of ARCore.
- The framework is capable of real-time tracking, calculating the location of the device, and integrating digital content with the real-world environment.
- You can find the ARCore SDKs here. Note that ARCore also supports Unity for Android and iOS.
- ARCore documentation is available here and here.
3. Vuforia Studio
Vuforia is a powerful AR framework, and it’s from PTC, which is a reputed provider of IoT and AR solutions. The following quick facts are important here:
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- The framework offers powerful SDKs, which make developing high-quality AR apps easier.
- Vuforia supports native development on Android and iOS, furthermore, it also supports cross-platform AR development using Unity. This is a key advantage for enterprises since they have a wide range of options.
- You can access the Vuforia SDKs here. Vuforia also offers “Application Programming Interfaces” (APIs) in popular languages, e.g., Java, C++, etc.
- Vuforia has key use cases for industries like manufacturing, maintenance, sales & marketing, etc. These help enterprises since they can adopt the Vuforia solutions quickly, and get a good “Return on Investment” (ROI).
- The framework can identify and track image targets and 3D objects in real-time, and businesses can use this capability to overlay digital content on top of the real-world environment.
- Vuforia has the capability of tracking 3D targets, 2D targets, 3D multi-target configurations, and markerless image targets, making it a powerful framework.
You can read the Vuforia AR framework documentation here.
Wikitude is an experienced provider of AR solutions, and they have a set of powerful SDKs that make AR app development easier. Its solutions offer the following features and advantages:
- The Wikitude SDKs offer geolocation, tracking, and image recognition capabilities.
- Wikitude offers SDKs for native development on Android, iOS, and Windows, moreover, their SDK for Unity facilitates cross-platform development.
- The company has SDKs for Cordova, Xamarin, etc., therefore, it covers the mobile platforms well.
- Wikitude also has SDKs for “Smart Glass” platforms like Hololens, Epson Moverio, etc.
- Additionally, the company offers SDKs for platforms like React Native, Ionic, etc. You can download their SDKs here.
- Wikitude offers a cloud-based storage solution for large-scale AR development, and you can learn about it here.
- AR developers can create, manage, test, and publish high-quality AR content using the Wikitude Studio.
- These SDKs offer key AR features like 3D model rendering, location-based AR, video overlay, and SLAM.
- The company offers extensive documentation, which includes SDK documentation and tutorials.
EasyAR, a provider of robust AR solutions has two pricing plans, and the premium version is more suitable for an enterprise. Its features and advantages are as follows:
- The EasyAR SDK Pro has APIs in C, C++, Java, Swift, and Objective-C, therefore, the SDK supports platforms like Android, iOS, Windows, and Mac OS.
- It also supports Unity, therefore, cross-platform development is easier.
- The premium SDK supports key AR capabilities like SLAM, planar image tracking, unlimited image recognition, multi-target simultaneous detection and tracking, 3D object tracking, etc.
- It also supports video playback, transparent video playback, QR code scanning, etc.
- You can download the premium SDK here, moreover, you can also get additional guidance by reviewing samples of code.
Planning an enterprise AR project?
AR market is rapidly growing today. According to a Businesswire, “The augmented reality & mixed reality market is valued at USD 2.98 billion in 2019, and is expected to reach USD 27.44 billion by 2025, registering a CAGR of 44.74%, over the forecast period (2020 – 2025).”
As Apple CEO Tim Cook said, “I’m already seeing AR take off in some of these areas with the use of the phone. And I think the promise is even greater in the future”.
Your proposed enterprise augmented reality project is likely of strategic importance to your organization. Enterprise AR solutions certainly help with such projects, however, the project will likely be a complex one. Consider getting help from a reputed software development company.
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Read our guide “How to find the best software development company?” before you engage one.
DevTeam.Space can also offer you field-expert AR developers from its software developer community vetted for high-quality expertise in the latest technologies. Write to us initial specifications for your augmented reality projects via this quick form and one of our account managers will get back to you with further assistance.
Frequently Asked Questions on Enterprise AR
An augmented reality solution is software that uses augmented reality technology to change or enhance the real world around it using digital assets. This can be anything from personalized advertising boards, remote assistance, and virtual meetings, to Pokémon characters. It can be accessed through wearable devices like the Google Glass VR headset that company introduced with AR and virtual reality capabilities.
You should find a platform that supports AR code generation. One example is Aurasma Studio. Simply create an account and follow the steps to create your own AR code.
AR has enormous potential as it allows a personalized reality to be created for each individual. This will provide them with existing new entertainment while allowing companies to increase the effectiveness of the advertising, etc.