How To Create Augmented Reality Content For Your Business

We at DevTeam.Space have worked with numerous clients to develop augmented reality (AR) apps over the years. Over the course of these projects, we have have come to see the unrealized potential of AR to businesses, both to help streamline internal processes such as design, and as the backbone of exciting new software apps.

Businesses planning to utilize AR need to focus on content. If you are a senior leader in such a business, then this guide on how to create augmented reality content for your business is the right one for you.

Contents

Augmented Reality (AR): What is it?
How AR works
Where can you use Augmented Reality?
The outlook for AR: How‘s its market?
The importance of content in AR
How do you create augmented reality content?
Planning to launch your augmented reality app?

Augmented Reality (AR): What is it?

Augmented Reality (AR) is a technology, using which you can superimpose digital information on the physical environment of a user. Apps using AR recognize visual cues in the physical environment of users.

Such apps use special-purpose 3D programs to create digital content. The digital content in question is context-sensitive, which the app integrates with the physical environment. You can read more about AR in our guide “VR vs augmented reality: which one is best for your business idea?”.

How AR works

How does AR work? It‘s key to understand this before we can delve into creating AR content. An AR system works as follows:

  • Input hardware devices like camera, GPS, Gyroscope, etc. capture real content, and they forward it to the hardware processor of the system.
  • The processor uses the software layer to send the input to the web server and/or cloud server, and it requests for the appropriate virtual objects.
  • Using AR content-creation software, the AR system creates virtual objects and sends them back to the web/cloud server.
  • The server sends the virtual objects to the processor, which forwards the augmented content to the AR application and browser.
  • Finally, the AR application sends the augmented content to the display devices, e.g., Head Mounted Display (HMD), Smartphone screen, etc.

Note that the input to an AR can be of the following types:

  • Marker-based: The input device captures the image of an object, and the AR app works on creating the appropriate digital content for that.
  • Location-based: In this case, the input device captures the GPS location of the device. Sensors in the device also capture the orientation of it, which forms a part of the input. The AR app then creates the appropriate digital content, superimposes it to the real scene, and sends it back to the user.

Read more about this in “How does Augmented Reality work?”.

Where can you use Augmented Reality?

Now that you have a better appreciation of how AR works, let‘s see where you can use this promising technology. Various industries have key AR use cases, e.g.:

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  • Interior design and decoration: Businesses in the interior design and decoration industry can let their customers virtually experience their products using AR apps. I have earlier explained this use case in “How to build a home design app like Design This Home”.
  • Beauty industry: Leading beauty care brands are using AR to let their customers virtually try their products, moreover, AR has made a mark in beauty coaching too. Our guide “How to build an augmented reality hairstyle app” explains this use case in detail.
  • Gaming: As Pokémon Go demonstrates, AR has an important use in the gaming sector. You can read about this in “How to make a game like Pokémon Go?”. Media and entertainment companies can use AR to create engaging content.
  • Healthcare: On-the-job trainings in the healthcare sector can be expensive, however, AR helps doctors and healthcare industry technicians to learn complex tasks.
  • Retail: Businesses let shoppers use AR apps in-store to experience their products virtually.
  • Manufacturing: Manufacturing companies use AR for repair and maintenance of complex equipment.
  • Travel and Tourism: Travel and tourism companies use AR to give an immersive experience of destinations to potential tourists.

Read about more AR use cases in “10 real use cases for augmented reality”.

All industries can use AR in conjunction with Virtual Reality (VR) to manage meetings and conferences better. It‘s hard to conduct face-to-face meetings given the preponderance of distributed teams and remote employees, however, AR and VR can help. Read “How VR and AR can improve conference calls and business meetings” for more information on this use case.

The outlook for AR: How‘s its market?

The global market for AR is experiencing rapid growth. This market was valued at $4.2 billion in 2017, however, it‘s likely to reach $85 billion by 2025. This represents a CAGR of 33.7%. Read more about this forecast in “Augmented reality market worth $85.0 billion by 2025”.

Another estimate puts the CAGR of the global AR market at a whopping 65%! Read about this estimate in “Augmented reality market analysis – market size, share, and forecast”.

The importance of content in AR

While AR has tremendous potential, there are a few challenges that can impede its growth. A key challenge is the lack of high-quality content. This can manifest in various ways, e.g., poor resolution of the AR content.

This results in sub-optimal user experience, moreover, the experience is often not immersive enough. Read more about this challenge in “The 6 biggest challenges facing augmented reality”.

Market observers cite that the absence of high-quality 3D content compels users of AR to create their objects and environments. That‘s not easy since it requires a lot of work to create such content. You can read about it in “There‘s a major lack of quality VR/AR content — this startup wants to fix that”.

How do you create augmented reality content?

Given the importance of content in AR and the amount of work it requires, I recommend that you use robust tools for creating augmented reality content. Examples of such tools are as follows:

1. Amazon Sumerian

Amazon Sumerian is a comprehensive AR/VR engine, which enables you to create AR and VR apps without programming or graphics skills. You can create immersive and interactive scenes with Sumerian.

Your AR/VR apps built with Sumerian will work with all AR/VR platforms, e.g., Oculus Go, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, HTC Vive Pro, Google Daydreams, etc. Whether you build augmented reality apps for Android or iOS, Sumerian will support you just fine!

A key advantage of Sumerian is that it makes it easy to create AR content. You can create 3D objects like characters, furniture, etc. Sumerian offers a comprehensive environment for designing, animating, and scripting.

With Sumerian, you can easily accomplish all of the following:

  • Uploading assets;
  • Creating hosts;
  • Editing scenes;
  • Publishing your scenes.

Yet another key advantage of Sumerian is its extensive documentation. You can read “Amazon Sumerian augmented reality tools” and learn how to use Sumerian. The documentation covers the following:

  • Using AR camera, AR camera control, etc.;
  • Sample projects for Android and iOS.
  • Using its dashboard, editor, etc.

Visit the Amazon Sumerian pricing page to view its pricing plans.

2. Vectary

Vectary is a robust online 3D design and 3D modeling software. It‘s a good choice whether you want to create AR content or showcase products or designs on your website.

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Vectary offers several features and advantages, e.g.:

  • It offers a complete toolset for 3D design, and you can use them in your browser to create AR content.
  • Vectary has a professional and intuitive design interface.
  • You can collaborate with your team members while creating AR content with Vectary.
  • Vectary allows you to apply filters and effects.
  • You can integrate Vectary with several other popular tools.

This isn‘t an exhaustive list, and you can read more in the Vectary features page.

Your team can consult the extensive Vectary documentation to use it, moreover, they can access learning resources in “Learn 3D modeling”. You can visit the Vectary pricing page to view its pricing plans, furthermore, you can also view its FAQs.

3. ROAR

ROAR isn‘t just a toolset for creating AR content, rather it‘s a comprehensive AR platform. You can create AR content using it for many use cases, e.g., media & entertainment, retail, ads, etc. ROAR is compatible with ARKit, ARCore, etc.

ROAR offers a comprehensive editor for creating AR content, which offers many useful tools. The editor is easy to use, therefore, non-technical users can create AR content using it.

You can create AR content and test them using this editor. The ROAR editor enables you to include all AR features in your content, e.g., video, audio, Call-To-Action (CTA) buttons, images, texts, 3D models, etc. The editor includes useful templates.

Visit the “Create your own Augmented Reality” page on the ROAR website to learn how you can incorporate target images (markers), 3D models, videos, etc. On this page, you can learn how to incorporate CTA buttons, images, texts, audio, etc. You can also learn how to create AR content for ARKit, ARCore, and WebAR on this page.

ROAR has various pricing packages, and you can read about them on the “Plans and pricing” page of the ROAR website. The company offers a customized plan too.

4. Vuforia Studio

Vuforia Studio is part of the reputed AR platform Vuforia, which is from PTC. As I had explained in “The ultimate guide to choosing the right enterprise AR solution”, Vuforia is a powerful AR platform with key use cases in sectors like manufacturing, retail, etc. Whether you build AR apps for iOS or Android, Vuforia will work just fine!

Vuforia Studio is a drag-and-drop AR content authoring environment, and it offers the following features and advantages:

  • You can expedite AR content creation since it already features 3D CAD and animated sequences. These make Vuforia highly suitable for industrial AR use cases.
  • Vuforia Studio is scalable, moreover, you can view all your AR content easily.
  • Thanks to its IoT and analytics capabilities, Vuforia Studio provides valuable insights.
  • Vuforia Studio supports Mixed Reality (MR), and it‘s highly suitable for enterprise use.

You need to visit the PTC resource center webpage to find documentation about the Vuforia platform including Vuforia Studio. If you want to try Vuforia or purchase it, then you need to visit the “Try & buy PTC solutions” webpage.

5. Wikitude Studio

Wikitude Studio is yet another example of an AR content creation tool that‘s part of a robust AR development platform. It‘s part of Wikitude, a well-known provider of AR development tools.

Wikitude Studio has many advantages, e.g.:

  • You can use it to create engaging AR content even if you‘re not an experienced AR developer.
  • Wikitude Studio is a comprehensive toolset that lets you create and manage AR assets, moreover, you can use it to publish your content.
  • Wikitude offers software development kits (SDKs) for AR app development, and Wikitude Studio integrates well with them.
  • Wikitude Studio is a set of drag-and-drop tools, furthermore, it includes the Wikitude Studio Editor, a highly intuitive tool. The Studio Editor makes it easy to augment images, objects, scenes, etc.

You can use Wikitude Studio easily, thanks to its comprehensive documentation. Read “Introduction to Studio” for more information. Visit the Wikitude Store page to view its pricing plans.

6. ZapWorks

ZapWorks is a popular AR toolkit, and you can create engaging AR apps using it. Among the ZapWorks suite of products, you can use ZapWorks Studio to create AR content.

ZapWorks Studio lets you create AR, VR, and MR content that‘s customizable. You can use it to superimpose digital content on the physical environment, moreover, ZapWorks is compatible with ARKit and ARCore.

ZapWorks Studio supports 3D, images, animation, scripting, world tracking, face tracking, actions tracking, videos, etc. This makes it a suitable AR content creation tool for a wide range of AR use cases.

Visit the ZapWorks documentation webpage to find its learning resources. The company offers a flexible set of pricing plans and billing options, and you can review them on the “ZapWorks pricing for business” webpage.

Planning to launch your augmented reality app?

Augmented reality tools for content creation can certainly help you to build your augmented reality app. However, content is only one part of augmented reality app development, although it‘s an important part! Developing an AR app involves much more, e.g., finding AR developers, procuring the right IT infrastructure, formulating an effective development approach, and managing the project well.

AR programming can be complex, therefore, I recommend that you engage a reputed software development company for such projects. Read our guide “How to find the best software development company?” before you engage such a development partner.

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Aran Davies

Blockchain Expert | Developer | Writer | Photographer
I love all things blockchain and related to app development. What time I have when I am not busy writing for the DevTeam.Space blog of over 350 articles, I spend sitting around wondering what the future will look like 50 years from now.
Aran Davies