5 Reasons Why You Must Jump On the AR Bandwagon – FAST!

Augmented Reality may have failed to create as much hype as Virtual Reality, but its technology is definitely much more revolutionary. Furthermore, with augmented reality you do not really need to buy accessories such as special eyeglasses.

AR has become a must-have tool for businesses that are looking for ways to beat the competition and deliver unmatched user experience in their software products. AR combines sounds and visuals to deliver next-level interactivity. It has completely revolutionized the way users receive information and relate with the environment.

AR-driven products and services have become the new customer service as companies fight to get their hands on the latest AR technology.

Augmented Reality

Sources say that worldwide spending on AR will exceed $20 billion by 2021 as more smartphone and tablet users embrace the technology. The commercial sector anticipates embracing head-mounted AR devices in transportation, manufacturing, retail and professional service industries.

Tech giants such as Google, Microsoft and Apple have already lauded AR as a promising technology that is generating millions in profits. Google, Microsoft and Apple are even developing platforms and hardware to assist developers in creating new AR apps.

What Is Augmented Reality?

AR uses apps on smartphones and other devices to overlay digital information onto the real world allowing the user to view the real world through their device’s camera lens. The most popular example of augmented reality is Pokémon Go but there are several great AR apps you must try before 2019 ends.

What Is Augmented Reality?

The concept of AR has become quite familiar; most people understand that AR technology simply allows the user to view the world in 3D. A majority of people further understand the placing of these 3D images in the real world. The real question however is, “How are augmented reality 3D images created?”

How to Create 3D Designs for Augmented Reality Apps

3D designs for augmented reality typically draw inspiration from real-world objects. These designs are created through either photogrammetry, 3D scanning or by using a 3D modeling program.

1. Photogrammetry

Photogrammetry creates AR 3D models based on a series of pictures of actual objects. This method uses photogrammetry software to create a high-density mesh of the photographed object.

The HD mesh consists of many triangles that outline the shape, color and text of the object among other details.

Objects with rough surfaces and many visual patterns however make the best-augmented 3D designs. They should also be opaque for best results.

2. Scanning

Another way to create 3D designs for AR is by using certain software to scan real-world objects and transform them into AR objects. The technology used can however be too accurate resulting in models with unimpressive texture.

To get the best results using this method, you must put in some manual work and be ready to spend extra time on your designs.

You should also consider getting a high-end 3D scanner if money if your budget can allow it.

3. 3D Modeling Program

This may be the most tasking way to create 3D designs for augmented reality but it is also the most rewarding. This method will require you to put in the work and the hours but the fully optimized model you get will definitely be worth it!

Software known as Maya is often used to create models that are then colored and textured using Mudbox.

The 3D Modeling Process

1. Take photos and measurements for reference
  • Ensure your camera lens has a long focal length. A shorter focal length is not appropriate, as it will lead to skewed photos. You do not want that.
  • Take photos from different angles to achieve extra accuracy. You want to get the view from the top, bottom, left, right, front and back.
  • Import the photo into software such as Maya.
  • Take the measurements of the object’s length, width and height. Focus on achieving an accurate model because augmented reality images are useless if they do not reflect reality.
2. Model the reference objects

Once you have taken the relevant measurements and set the scene file, the next step is to capture odd shapes such as spheres, cubes and cylinders.

After this, you add the details until you achieve an exact representation of the actual object. The mesh must be as simple as possible to allow the app to process the data faster.

When the modeling is finished, the next step is to export two files: one with a low-density mesh and the other with a high-density mesh. This step is crucial because most game engines operate on low-density and may fail to provide high-density models in real-time.

The two files are then to Substance Painter. Here, the textures are added to the model.

You may impose the surface details from the high-density models over the one with a low density. This will allow you to keep the latter without losing the texture details of the former.

3. Paint the texture of the objects

A high-density mesh is required in order to achieve an accurate texture. You can use 3D painting software such as Substance Painter to achieve details such as rust and scratches. This software is a great tool because it helps to achieve the exact look of the actual object. What’s more? You can actually modify your model to match the actual environmental lighting!

4. Prepare the models for Augmented Reality

First, you want to ensure that you export the 3D model in the correct format; check that the format of the 3D model matches that of the 3D engine you intend to use.

For example, to create a native Swift app using Xcode, you will require Collada format. This will also require that you export the texture object in JPEGs.

For a more real appearance, you must apply extra texture to create a shadow effect. A texture object without a shadow is not a good look; it will appear to be floating above the surface.

Create the shadow in advance and save it as a texture so that you can use it later below the mesh of your product.

Benefits of Having AR Features in Your App

1. Real-time Information

Augmented reality has made it possible to provide users with additional information about a product, space, size, material, availability and uses in real time. This means that the user has access to the actual product before making a final decision to purchase or not to purchase.

2. Visualization Made Easier

AR allows the user to visualize an object in a personalized manner as it allows for modification and observation of the characteristics of the object. For example, in interior design AR illustrates how different types of furniture or paint would look in a room. AR has also been useful in the fashion industry where consumers receive a picture of an item in real time.

3. Unique User Experience

Consumers who have access to AR can now make well-informed decisions about products from the comfort of their home or office. AR has made shopping easier because the customer gets an actual feel of the product from wherever he/she is. AR further facilitates the online interaction between customers and sellers. It has actually made buyers more self-reliant as they can make buying decisions without much assistance.

4. Competitive Advantage

As long as there is quality assurance, it is easy to pick a company that gave you a memorable experience over one that did not go the extra mile. AR is what makes this difference for many companies today. AR provides a revolutionary way for companies to introduce new products and services to a tech-savvy generation that couldn’t care less about brochures and fliers. It is a great sales tool that when used correctly has the potential to make a brand more appealing to users. In other words, AR sets you apart from your competitors.

5. Brand Image and Awareness

New technology is exciting and people are always curious to find out what it can do. Companies that have embraced augmented reality apps have taken a crucial step towards attracting new customers while retaining the existing ones.

Best AR Apps for 2019

  • Augment – 3D Augmented Reality: If you are looking to boost your sales through AR then this is definitely the app for you. It allows users to visualize 3D models in AR using their mobile devices.
  • Blippar – The AR Browser: This AR browser for Android and iOS allows the user to discover more about everyday objects such as landmarks and buildings. It is one of the best AR and image recognition apps of 2019.
  • Leo AR Camera: With this iPhone app, you can choose from hundreds of objects and create an AR video to share with your friends and family online.
  • Imerference Augmented Reality: This is a reality chatting app available for both iPhone and Android users. Users can make immersive voice calls and conference calls as well as experience 3D augmented drawing. It uses AR technology that allows up to 32 users across different locations to interact on the same page. It can be used for virtual meetings of any sort from classrooms to reunions and board meetings.
  • RC Helicopter AR: With this app made by Playrock Studios, you can now play with RC computer at the comfort of your home on the RC Helicopter AR by Playrock Studios. This app features one quadcopter and at least 20 helicopters.
  • Holo – Holograms for Video in AR: This app by 8i LTD allows you to create unique pictures and videos using holograms. You can then share this content with friends via social media and messaging apps.
  • Safari Central: Wildlife AR: This is a great app for animal lovers as it features AR animals and photography tools for a fun experience. This app not only has great animations of your favorite wild animals but also comes with impressive photography tools to capture them with.
  • LandscapAR Augmented Reality: Android users can now use AR to transform sketches into 3D landscapes thanks to Weekend Labs UG. Have fun sketching terrains on this app then transforming them into amazing 3D landscapes.

AR apps are trending right now and going by what the support they are receiving from tech giants, they are here to stay. Businesses as well as individuals have so much to gain from this revolutionary technology. The stakes are higher for businesses as this could make the difference between them and their competitors. It seems the only way is up for AR, particularly in the business scene. So far, only a handful of companies have in-house AR development teams. An external professional partner such as GoNative is the best way to develop AR for your business app.

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3 Comments

  1. very nice blog for 3d Aps only

  2. nice tips.thanks.

  3. thanks for sharing such a nice post.

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