2018 has seen an increased interest in augmented reality as the technology becomes more easily available to users everywhere. In a nutshell, augmented reality(AR) works by layering 2D or 3D virtual content on top of real world locations and objects, which can be accessed using smart devices such as phones and tablets and also wearable technology such as smart glasses. Unlike virtual reality games and apps that need investment in dedicated headsets, augmented reality apps can work on commonly available smartphones and headsets. This paves the way for widespread distribution of AR apps. Consumer adoption of AR has created a thriving market for AR applications across all sectors, from popular social networking apps like SnapChat to product promotion apps like IKEA’s catalogue.
AR technology can be broadly classified into four types :
- Marker-based AR
- Marker-less or location based AR
- Projection based AR
- Superimposition based AR
Most AR apps today fall into the first two categories – marker-based AR and location-based AR. Marker-based AR primarily uses image recognition features to display virtual information overlayed on specific objects.
Augmented Reality(AR) geolocation apps
Marker-less AR, also termed geo-location based AR refers to augmented reality features that are anchored on real-time location. Digital data is virtually placed over actual physical surroundings, allowing users to access it using AR ready devices such as smartphones. As of now all smartphones already come with location detection capabilities. With the release of Apple’s ARKit and Google’s ARCore, phones that support augmented reality applications are steadily becoming available to consumers everywhere. This will likely lead to more interest and scope for augmented reality geo-location apps.
How do AR geo-location apps work?
Augmented reality geo-location apps are created using a combination of geospatial data determining mechanisms and AR tech. Geo markers (also called “points of interest) are first identified. The exact position of the smartphone is determined through queries to the relevant sensors on the device. Location is usually determined via GPS or beacon, along with the embedded digital compass and accelerometers in mobile devices The digital overlays or “augmentations” are virtual placed over the points of interest. These can include sound effects, animations, music, videos, images etc. Users can then activate and interact with the digital overlays based on their physical location.
The challenges of creating location-based AR apps:
Accuracy is a critical factor for creating functional geo location based Augmented Reality apps. Virtual information must be displayed on the screen irrespective of the angle of the camera (portrait, landscape or tilted). The GPS data used to triangulate the exact position of the user must also be error free. All AR features must be customized, calibrated for optimum user experience.
Location-based AR can be employed to create applications for a wide variety of purposes. As more smartphones come equipped with AR ready features, the potential audience for commercial apps gets larger every day. Here are some of the use cases for location-based AR apps.
Gaming and entertainment: The most well known use of location-based AR is in games like Pokemon GO and Ingress. Entertainment apps that make use of the player’s immediate surroundings and environment appeal to large audiences. Juego Studios has created a social AR Game for players to meet and interact within their locality. For more info : Augmented Reality Game & Social Platform
Marketing and promotion: AR apps can be used to display promotional information such as news about offers and sales whenever users are in close proximity to stores, restaurants etc. Juego Studios created GPS Treasure Hunt , a location-based AR scavenger hunt centered around promotional activities.
Utility apps: Navigation and way-finding apps can be enhanced using AR features to deliver more interesting information to users.
Juego Studios is an AR app development company that works with both marker-based and marker-less technology. Get in touch with us today to discuss your project.