Pokemon Go changed people’s perspective on technologies in 2016. Since that time, Augmented Reality became a new trend in various industries like education, healthcare, and entertainment.
In this guide, we dive deep into location-based AR app development, industries that use this powerful technology, and elaborate on how to create an AR app.
What is location-based Augmented Reality?
Location-based AR stands for a markerless, position-based, and geo-based Augmented Reality. This solution doesn’t need special markers to identify the location of virtual objects.
Location-based Augmented Reality relies on GPS, accelerometer, digital compass, and other technologies to identify a device’s location and position with high accuracy. Most modern mobile devices have the required sensors, so this powerful technology is available for every mobile owner.
How does location-based AR work?
The mechanism is quite simple — a mobile app sends queries to sensors. When the app gets information, the application compares it with data about the point of interest (POI) and defines where to place virtual data in the real world.
Markerless AR can be divided into outdoor and indoor. Outdoor Augmented Reality uses GPS, while indoor recognizes the current location of a mobile device with beacons.
How does AR affect various industries?
Several industries like education and healthcare can receive benefits from using AR in their tech solution.
- Tourism. AR improves the traveling experience. For example, this powerful technology helps tourists discover new places and quickly find the most popular sightseeing in a real-time mode using their mobile devices. Navigation apps with location-based Augmented Reality dramatically improve the effectiveness of navigation systems.
- Education. Let’s face it — colorful and animated 3D or 2D objects are much more interesting than boring information from books. Astronomy is the subject that gets the most benefits from using AR.
- Healthcare. AR improves healthcare app development since it allows finding the nearest hospitals and best routes to them.
- Advertising. AR introduces new ways to promote products. Augmented Reality is much cheaper than traditional printed ads and stimulates customers to buy goods or services since this technology is new.
- Entertainment. Putting virtual objects into the real world is funny. Therefore gaming and entertainment seem to be industries gaining the most profit from implementing location-based AR technology. The growing interest in location-based augmented reality can be illustrated by many companies willing to create AR mobile games.
Also read: Challenges in AR mobile app development
How to develop a location-based AR app: Steps to follow
It’s high time to dive into location-based Augmented Reality app development. There are three primary steps we should consider.
- Step 1. Prepare all the necessary data.
- Step 2. Choose the development tools and technologies.
- Step 3. Integrate the geolocation data.
Let’s figure out the details of each step.
Step 1. Prepare necessary information
The first step is deciding on the data you want to add to the real-world. The easiest way to create an AR app is to display text information. Developing a colorful app or game tends to be more difficult.
Step 2. Choose the development tools and technologies
Of course, the most significant step is to pick the right development technologies. There are many such popular technologies as ARKit, Wikitude, and ARCore.
ARKit by Apple
Apple has developed ARKit. Software engineers can use this powerful tool to create AR apps for iOS devices like iPhone or iPad. ARKits offers a bunch of cool features:
- Scene geometry
- Instant AR
- People occlusion
- Motion capture
- Simultaneous front and back camera
- Collaborative sessions
- Multiple face tracking
- Detecting up to 100 images at a time
Also read: Future of Construction Industry: Virtual reality and Augmented reality
ARCore by Google
Google also has developed the AR tool called ARCore. This tool has a lot of interesting solutions.
The strongest feature of this tool is mapping, which is the most crucial for the development of markerless AR apps. It detects both horizontal and vertical surfaces and has a function of motion tracking.
Wikitude enables developers to create both marker-based and markerless AR applications. Among the main features of Wikitude are:
- Scene Recognition to recognize and track large objects like rooms, landscapes, buildings, and more
- SLAM technology
- Unity plugin, so it’s easier to implement created 3D objects into the app
- Geolocation support
- Integration with various frameworks like Xamarin and Cordova
This SDK allows creating location-based augmented reality apps for Android, iOS, and AR glasses.
Step 3. Integrate the geolocation data
GPS technology is the most common way to determine outdoor location. The main advantages of GPS are high accuracy and the ability to determine your position from anywhere in the world.
However, GPS tracking is highly energy-intensive. To integrate geolocation into your app, you should use Android location services or iOS location service.
To sum it up, location-based Augmented Reality app development requires a lot of preparation. Also, it’s better to cooperate with a qualified development team. This team helps you reach success and create an exciting AR app.
Also read: Augmented reality on your phone with Trimble SiteVision