A Comprehensive Guide to Build Augmented Reality Apps

By September 25, 2018 ,
augmented reality apps

The outburst of success that Pokémon Go has received surfaced the gems of Augmented Reality. It has become the new trend in the tech world. Augmented reality has spread its influences in various major industries and sectors including healthcare, entertainment, retail and real estate. In creating product demos, delivering real-time information and interactive advertisement, it has opened floodgates to endless and limitless opportunities for skilled iOS app developers.

The rising stats showcase how quickly augmented reality has become the tech unicorn. Its market is expected to cross $215 billion in revenue generation by 2021. Moreover, its app development process is a bit complex. The developers have to choose between the two main types- the Marker-based apps and the Location-based apps when planning to develop an AR app.

Marker-based apps based on image recognition, these apps use the black and white markers triggering the display of AR to overlay on top of the image.

Location-based apps– using the GPS tracking support, these apps display AR objects in the real world on top of the physical objects.

Here you will learn about the major criteria of choosing a perfect SDK for app development and the names of some prominent SDKs too. So, read on!

Main Criteria for Choosing an Augmented Reality SDKs

Augmented Reality requires advance expertise and best-in-class tools. After choosing the right type of app, you have to look for the different features you may need. For assisting you in selecting the right development kit, here are things you must consider.

Image Recognition

Image recognition is one of the most important features as it helps the app to identify the different objects, images and places present in the physical environment. As per the functionality of smartphones, the servers of the phones are powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning to identify the objects using the camera to overlay with animation, HTML or sound.


You must know if the kit is in your budget or not. Therefore, do check its pricing. For beginners, it’s best to go free tools and open source SDKs. Moreover, in paid SDKs, several pricing plans are included, which differ according to the needs and requirements of the user. From premium packages to in-app purchases, there will be many options where you have to pay to use the different features so it’s better to stay alert in the first place. In addition, to be sure about the functionality of the apps you can try the demo versions before heading towards the payment gateway.


To build an app for IOS or Android platform is easier than going for Windows and macOS versions. The options to choose such a toolkit are fewer as the majority of the kits provide IOS or Android development. However, a development kit that supports Universal Windows Platform (UWP) can effectively assist you in developing an Augmented Reality app for the Windows and macOS platforms.

Unity Support

It can lead your way in an engaging and interactive space. Unity is best used for creating user interactive gaming experience for app lovers. However, it can be used to develop AR apps that create a more powerful impact. It assists you in blending traditional ideas in a modern way.

Cloud Storage

One of the most important things to consider is to choose whether to go for local data storage or the cloud version. If your app involves a lot of markers it’s good to go for cloud storage otherwise locally storage can add to the efficiency level too.

SLAM Support

To track the physical environment of the user including all the places and objects a unique technique is used which is known as Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM). If your development support this feature then your app can easily remember the spots of different objects and position digital elements accordingly on all those spots.

List of Top Augmented Reality SDK for App Development

After selecting the features required for your app development you can go through the following list of top app development kits for AR apps.


Vuforia is one of the premier app development kits that offers a range of features to its users. It helps apps to recognize multiple objects that include toys, cylinders and boxes. It provides unity plugins cloud and local storage and enables the facility to create 3D geometric maps.


ARToolKit is an open source tool that enables AR app development. Being a pioneer among the app development kits, ARToolKit offers a range of free features that includes Integration using smart glasses, automatic camera calibration, supports Unity3D, OpenSceneGrap and single and dual camera.

Google ARCore

Google ARCore operates on Java/OpenGL, Unreal and Unity and is one of the finest AR app development kits. It offers motion tracking, light estimation and supports a range of devices including Google Pixel, Samsung Galaxy S7, Samsung Note8, Huawei P20 and Pixel2.