How Mobile Augmented Reality Apps Are Created

Augmented reality (AR) is a revolutionary technology that brings virtual content into the real world, opening up new possibilities for mobile app experiences. The market for mobile augmented reality is projected to exceed $36 billion by 2026. Creating mobile AR apps involves a carefully orchestrated development process that combines innovative technologies and creative design.

To embark on the journey of mobile AR app development, you need to start by defining your business objectives. Determine the purpose and goals of your app – whether it’s to provide entertainment, enhance customer engagement, or streamline specific tasks. This clarity will guide your development decisions and ensure your app aligns with your intended outcomes.

Next, you’ll need to choose the right technology stack. There are several types of mobile AR, including marker-based AR, location-based AR, and markerless AR. Each type requires different tools and techniques. Research and understand the specific requirements of your app to select the appropriate technology stack.

One crucial component of mobile AR app development is selecting an augmented reality software development kit (SDK) that suits your needs. An SDK provides the necessary tools and functionalities to build AR experiences. Popular SDKs for mobile AR app development include Vuforia, Wikitude, ARKit, and ARCore. These SDKs offer features like image recognition, 3D tracking, and Unity support, enabling developers to create immersive AR applications.

Mobile AR apps offer a multitude of benefits. They can attract customer engagement by delivering interactive and captivating experiences. AR apps can also boost sales by providing unique product demonstrations, allowing customers to visualize and interact with virtual objects before making a purchase. Additionally, AR apps offer a novel user experience, delighting users with a blend of the real and virtual world.

Key Takeaways:

  • Mobile augmented reality apps integrate virtual content with the real world, offering unique and engaging experiences.
  • Creating mobile AR apps involves defining business objectives, selecting the right technology stack, and choosing the appropriate AR development kit.
  • Different types of mobile AR include marker-based AR, location-based AR, and markerless AR.
  • Popular AR SDKs for mobile app development include Vuforia, Wikitude, ARKit, and ARCore.
  • Mobile AR apps can attract customer engagement, boost sales, and provide a memorable user experience.

Understanding Marker-Based Augmented Reality

Marker-based augmented reality (AR) apps have revolutionized the way we interact with the world around us. By detecting real-world objects and overlaying virtual elements onto them, these apps create immersive experiences that blur the line between the physical and digital realms.

With marker-based AR apps, markers such as QR codes or images serve as triggers to display AR overlays. These markers act as reference points, allowing the app to accurately position virtual objects in relation to the real-world environment. This tracking feature ensures that the virtual objects remain in place even when the camera is moved, providing a seamless and realistic AR experience.

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One popular application of marker-based AR is the use of face filters in various social media platforms. These apps detect facial markers, such as key facial features or patterns, to position filters correctly on the user’s face. Users can transform themselves into different characters or add fun and interactive effects to their photos and videos.

Advantages of Marker-Based AR

“Marker-based AR apps offer a range of benefits that enhance user engagement and create memorable experiences.”

Here are some advantages of using marker-based AR apps:

  • Engaging user experiences: By overlaying virtual objects onto the real world, marker-based AR apps captivate users and provide a unique and interactive way to engage with content.
  • High accuracy: Marker tracking technology ensures precise alignment and positioning of virtual objects, resulting in a realistic and immersive AR experience.
  • Easy implementation: With the use of readily available markers, such as QR codes or images, developers can easily integrate marker-based AR functionality into their apps.
  • Wide range of applications: Marker-based AR can be applied to various industries, including gaming, education, marketing, and retail, offering endless possibilities for innovative experiences.
Advantages of Marker-Based AR
Engaging user experiences

High accuracy
Easy implementation
Wide range of applications

Table: Advantages of Marker-Based AR

Marker-based AR has unlocked a world of possibilities in mobile app development. From enhancing marketing campaigns with interactive product visualizations to gamifying educational experiences, these apps continue to shape the way we interact with digital content in our physical environment.

Exploring Location-Based Augmented Reality

Location-based augmented reality (AR) apps offer a captivating way to enhance the real-world environment with virtual objects. By utilizing GPS, accelerometer, or compass information, these apps can accurately position virtual elements in specific locations. Unlike marker-based AR apps, location-based AR does not rely on markers and can seamlessly overlay AR objects onto physical spaces. This technology opens up exciting possibilities for providing users with real-time information based on their location, creating interactive and personalized experiences.

Imagine walking through a city and seeing virtual information pop up on your smartphone or smart glasses, guiding you to nearby attractions, restaurants, or historical landmarks. Location-based AR apps can seamlessly blend the digital and physical worlds, adding a new layer of interactivity to our surroundings.

One notable example of a location-based AR app is Pokémon Go, which took the world by storm in 2016. The game uses GPS and geolocation to enable players to capture virtual creatures in real-world locations. Pokémon Go’s success demonstrated the immense popularity and potential for location-based AR.

With location-based AR apps, businesses can leverage this technology to engage their customers in innovative ways. For example, retailers can create AR experiences that offer personalized recommendations and promotions based on the user’s location. Museums and tourism organizations can provide interactive guides, historical information, and virtual exhibitions right at the visitors’ fingertips.

Benefits of Location-Based AR Apps

Location-based AR apps offer several benefits:

  • Enhanced user experiences: By combining virtual objects with real-world locations, AR apps create immersive and interactive experiences that engage users on a whole new level.
  • Real-time information: Location-based AR apps can provide users with dynamic and contextually relevant information based on their current location. This can include directions, recommendations, or real-time updates.
  • Increased customer engagement: By offering unique AR experiences, businesses can capture users’ attention and encourage them to explore and interact with their surroundings. This can lead to increased brand loyalty and customer satisfaction.
  • Improved navigation and wayfinding: Location-based AR apps can assist users in navigating unfamiliar environments by overlaying virtual markers or guideposts onto the real-world space.
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Location-based AR is already being utilized in a variety of industries, including tourism, retail, and education. Its potential applications are vast, and as the technology continues to evolve, we can expect even more exciting possibilities to emerge.

Location-based AR apps have the power to transform how we experience and interact with the world around us. By combining the virtual and physical realms, these apps offer endless opportunities for businesses to provide unique and engaging experiences for their users.

location-based AR apps

Understanding the Types of Augmented Reality SDKs

When developing an AR app, you need to choose the right augmented reality software development kit (SDK). These AR SDKs offer a range of features and functionalities to enhance your app’s capabilities. Let’s take a closer look at some popular AR SDKs:

Vuforia: Vuforia is a versatile AR SDK that supports marker-based and markerless AR. It provides features like image recognition, 3D object tracking, and virtual buttons. With Vuforia, you can easily create AR experiences across multiple platforms.

Wikitude: Wikitude is known for its powerful image recognition engine. It enables developers to create marker-based AR apps with ease. Wikitude also offers features like instant tracking, SLAM (Simultaneous Localization and Mapping), and location-based AR.

ARKit: ARKit is Apple’s AR framework for iOS. It supports markerless AR and utilizes advanced techniques like simultaneous localization and mapping, as well as plane detection. ARKit makes it easier for developers to create immersive AR experiences exclusively for iOS devices.

ARCore: ARCore is Google’s AR platform for Android devices. It offers similar functionalities to ARKit, including markerless AR, motion tracking, and environmental understanding. ARCore allows developers to create high-quality AR apps for millions of Android users.

Each of these AR SDKs provides unique features and benefits. The choice of an SDK depends on various factors, such as cost, supported platforms, image and 3D recognition capabilities, and cloud support. It’s important to evaluate your project requirements and choose the SDK that best aligns with your needs.

Comparison of AR SDKs

SDK Supported Platforms Features
Vuforia Android, iOS, Unity Image recognition, 3D tracking, cloud recognition
Wikitude Android, iOS, Unity Image recognition, instant tracking, SLAM
ARKit iOS, Unity Markerless AR, motion tracking, plane detection
ARCore Android, Unity Markerless AR, motion tracking, environmental understanding

As seen in the comparison table, each SDK offers unique features, making it essential to consider your project requirements and preferred platforms when selecting an AR SDK. By leveraging the capabilities provided by these SDKs, you can create engaging and immersive AR experiences for your users.

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Now that you have a better understanding of the types of augmented reality SDKs available, you can make an informed decision when developing your AR app.


Augmented reality (AR) has revolutionized mobile app development, presenting countless opportunities for businesses. By following a few simple steps, you can create immersive AR experiences that engage your customers, boost sales, and provide a unique user experience.

Firstly, define your business objectives to determine how AR can best serve your app’s purpose. Identify the specific areas where AR can enhance your app’s functionality and create value for your users.

Next, choose the right technology stack for your AR app. Consider the different options available, such as marker-based AR, location-based AR, or markerless AR, and select the one that aligns with your app’s requirements and user expectations.

Finally, selecting an appropriate AR software development kit (SDK) is crucial for building your mobile AR app. Popular SDKs like Vuforia, Wikitude, ARKit, and ARCore offer various features such as image recognition, 3D tracking, and Unity support. Evaluate each SDK based on factors like cost, platform compatibility, and advanced recognition capabilities to make an informed decision.

Industries like healthcare, real estate, and gaming have already embraced AR, leveraging its potential to improve customer experience and drive business growth. In the ecommerce sector, AR holds immense promise for transforming the online shopping experience with features like virtual try-on, offering customers a chance to engage with products virtually and make confident purchasing decisions.

The possibilities of mobile AR app development are limitless, making it an exciting field to explore. Embrace AR technology, and unlock a world of innovation, customer engagement, and business success.


How are mobile augmented reality apps created?

To create a mobile AR app, you need to define your business objectives, choose the right technology stack and select an augmented reality software development kit (SDK) that suits your needs.

What is marker-based augmented reality?

Marker-based AR apps detect objects from the real-world environment and superimpose virtual objects on them using markers, such as QR codes or images, as triggers to display AR overlays. These apps can include features like marker tracking and face filters.

What is location-based augmented reality?

Location-based AR apps use GPS, accelerometer, or compass information to place virtual objects in specific locations without requiring markers. These apps can provide real-time information based on the user’s location, such as recommendations for nearby attractions or directions to a specific place of interest.

What are the types of augmented reality SDKs?

Some popular augmented reality SDKs for mobile app development include Vuforia, Wikitude, ARKit, and ARCore. These SDKs offer features like image recognition, 3D tracking, cloud recognition, and Unity support, and the choice depends on factors such as cost, supported platforms, and recognition capabilities.

What are the benefits of using AR in mobile apps?

Augmented reality can attract customer engagement, boost sales, and provide a unique user experience. It has the potential to transform industries like healthcare, real estate, gaming, and ecommerce, where features like virtual try-on can increase customer confidence and sales.

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With years of experience in the tech industry, Mark is not just a writer but a storyteller who brings the world of technology to life. His passion for demystifying the intricacies of the digital realm sets apart as a platform where accessibility meets expertise.

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