Why and How to Develop Augmented Reality Mobile Apps

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Although augmented reality (like QR codes) is not something new, the impressive success of Pokemon GO has meant that many companies such as BMW or Fiat are interested in the possibilities offered by this new technology.

The game of the Nintendo brand, developed by Niantec, reached one hundred million downloads during its first month in the market. This has prompted others to develop new marketing strategies and change the way they present their products to customers. But not only the companies have been attracted, also the public.

How can this technology be brought to companies? Is it suitable for the marketing strategies of SMEs (Small and medium-sized enterprises)?

Today I will explain how you can develop campaigns around augmented reality, and what tools facilitate this work.

What is Augmented Reality?

The augmented reality consists in the enrichment of the images that you receive through a mobile device or a webcam with virtual information about said image. This virtual information can be text, infographics, 3D animations, videos and many other types of information.

To explain it better, let’s see two examples:

Imagine that you are walking through a store and a certain product catches your attention. By bringing your mobile phone closer to the product, an infographic appears on your screen. The infographic informs you about the materials with which it is manufactured or the possible use of the product. IBM is using the same kind of AR app which acts like a personal shopper.

Another example is INKHunter. It allows you to try on virtual tattoos, with the help of augmented reality, before it’s inked forever. Place the tattoo designs on any part of the body using your phone camera and check how it looks.

inkhunter uses augmented reality

Try on tattoos with the help of augmented reality.

These, and many other things, are already possible through the use of augmented reality and applications specially designed for the creation of content.

How and why to develop an augmented reality app?

There are many advantages that you can obtain when developing a corporate website or an augmented reality mobile app design for your business, among these benefits stand out.

  • Market your products in an innovative way: Innovation is key when it comes to reaching the public, augmented reality is the best way to create attractive content for your customers.
  • Improve your brand image: We are in the digital age and having the latest technology will make the perception of customers to your business change by offering unique experiences.
  • Increase your sales: Offering your products in an interactive and entertaining way for the customers of your business will cause an increase in your sales.
  • Greater authority: By offering your products using augmented reality will cause you to talk more about your business and your products generating greater visibility and authority for your brand. Another advantage is that your products will remain longer in the minds of consumers.
  • Differentiate yourself from the competition: By offering your products in a unique way you will be different from your competitors, which will make your company stand out from the rest.
  • Include calls to action: The use of augmented reality allows you to include calls to action to encourage your customers to take an action.
  • Reaching the young audience: Without a doubt, young people are more up to date with regard to the latest technologies. The use of augmented reality will allow you to bring your business closer to younger customers.

9 Tools to create content with augmented reality

There are many tools to make apps that integrate this new technology, so today we share with you nine of the best and most used.

#1 Layar

The use of augmented reality to create interactive images that serve to promote the products of a brand is undoubtedly one of the fashion trends.

Layar allows you to create interactive content and access it from catalogs, magazines, brochures or printed codes on products. It also allows the insertion of videos or alternative versions to the product that the client is observing at that moment.

#2 Augment

Augment allows you to show the products of your catalog with virtual images in 3D, so that customers can observe it from all angles and perspectives. It is a relatively easy to use tool that you can also try for 30 days for free.

#3 Metaio

Metaio (website temporarily offline) is the most used application tool for augmented reality for mobile phones. It has a large number of functionalities specially oriented to the marketing, printing, automotive and industry sectors. Brands such as Lego, Audi or Ikea have developed projects using this tool. Now Apple has acquired Metaio.

#4 Vuforia

Vuforia is a complete tool with which you can develop all kinds of augmented reality applications. It recognizes texts as well as images or objects in both two and three dimensions. It also includes the option to insert virtual buttons.

In addition, you can use it with any device either a smartphone or using your computer’s webcam. Another of its great advantages is that you can create your app for both iOS and Android.

#5 Aurasma

Aurasma is one of the most widespread tools in the market. This tool allows you to create complex interactive experiences since the virtual layer can contain more than one action. That is, you can show a video and a 3D image at the same time.

#6 Total Immersion

Total Immersion is another powerful tool. It allows to create applications for various operating systems. It is very focused on the application of augmented reality to marketing and sales.

#7 Hoppala

Hoppala is focused on the creation of geolocated augmented reality content. Perfect for museums or establishments that want to show points of interest and information about them.

#8 Clickarapp

ClickARapp is a tool very similar to Layar but that also has templates already designed to make it easier for you to create interactive content. They are into many other sectors including packaging design, Education, Publicity etc.

#9 ARTool Kit

ARTool Kit is a free tool with which you can develop augmented reality apps for mobile phones, ideal to get started in this world.

Conclusion

Augmented reality is the future and companies should not lose sight of its opportunities. This kind of technological advances allow exploring new options and channels when communicating with users.

There is no need to be afraid when innovating in the communication and marketing sector. If you stay behind, others will do it and your company will lag behind.

You have to talk to users the same way they do. By doing that, they perceive your brand as trustworthy and you remain top of mind. If now augmented reality is entering their lives in a natural way, why not through marketing channels.

How many campaigns of this type have you seen in recent times? Do you think it would be an good way to promote your business?

Henny Kel

Henny Kel works as a Digital Marketer and content strategist with Designhill, one of the leading graphic design marketplace. With extensive experience working both client side and within the agency environment, he has authored and co-authored several dozen articles on topics related to digital marketing, business strategies, growth hack strategies, content marketing and distribution amongst a host of other topics.
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