What does AR need to explode?

This is a question that a lot of people ask about Augmented Reality. When is AR going to be fully spread? What does it need to finally become worldwide known and used? The question, in fact, is really simple: DEVELOPERS.

The technology has already proved itself, its main functionalities: image matching, tracking, motion detection, face tracking and recognition, geolocation, are really useful, can make alive the newspapers, pictures, paintings, even real objects. It can be applied to “augment” the info eyes see in tourism or education. It can make customers enjoy their brands and assist factory workers to ease their work. In short, AR introduces the users to a world where what they see is only the beginning.

So here comes the barrier, the big wall between the technology and its users… there aren’t many developers working on that. But why? although the technology is attractive and beautiful, it is challenge for any programmer, why?

To go deeper in the subject we need to analyze the current market options for the developer:

- Tremendously expensive solutions: there are packed AR solutions in the marker that provide developers the technology to build themselves their AR projects. Their SDK have good quality but are extremely expensive, impossible to afford for the medium developer or startup. Also in many cases restricted terms of use. The developer question here is: to use this technology which kind of customer do I need to have??? Or I have a big brand knocking my humble door or better to consider other options. Another problem of packed solutions is the lack of freedom. Migrating the developer of any platform into new software tools takes out the skills of the developers and his freedom to work in his natural environment.

- What about developing it from scratch? We need to consider that the computer vision and the 3d functionalities involved in AR are really complicated. It involves so many concepts from so many worlds that to reach a commercial level, being one single developer is kind of mission impossible. But even if so, does it deserve the effort? Let’s not forget that the important thing about a project for a customer or a killer app published in the market, is the idea, the app itself, the technology behind it is just an asset for the developer to reach his target. Let’s keep on moving, what about:

- Open Source solutions? In my opinion,there are very few quality in those available and are always incomplete. By incomplete I mean that they can maybe satisfy one or two main functionalities the developer need, but it is really difficult that they cover the developer´s full idea. Furthermore, what about documentation? sample codes? tutorials? support? This is like chickens and golden eggs, would be good to find them, but unfortunately  they do not exist :) Any other option?

- There are some apps that offer AR features but within them. That’s great and easy, but what about if I want my white label solution? I just want the technology to build my own killer app? I don’t want to depend on anyone, I just want to create it myself?

After thinking about all the possibilities we have, we just reached again the starting point: we love AR, we love its features and applications, but how do we go ahead with it?

This question has pass all over my mind thousands of times. And sadly I have always got stuck at the same point, I had not alternatives… That’s why I took the crazy path, the dangerous, but exciting, the risky but beautiful, the hard but creative: just do it (like some brand will say :) )

At this point I kept in my mind 1 basic concepts: spread AR

How? Making grow the amount of AR developers.

What they need, what we need? Frameworks, easy API, cover all AR functionalities, lots of sample codes, open source projects, really good support, tutorials and to be heard.  What do I mean by be heard, exactly that, if a developer wants / needs a specific feature, let’s develop it and add it to the Framework.

At which price? Amazingly affordable. Only if we accomplish this last step, the dream will be perfect, any developer will access lots of functionalities: image and object matching and tracking, face recognition and detection, AR geolocation, gesture and motion detection a 3D engine, cloud image retrieval system, and much more that will come.

Do not forget to check out our AR Browser and Image Matching SDKs.

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3 Responses

  1. [...] En este caso en un cómic se resumen todos los objetivos, planes de negocio y estrategia de la empresa ARLab. [...]

  2. Edgaras says:

    Hello, nice post, I’m very excited about all the functionalities you offer, I think in the future I will gladly try what you offer for developers. As I can see this is a young company? Few months? Keep up the good work! Can you please write me back what are those “affordable prices” for an independent developer?

  3. Hi Edgaras,
    yes you’re right, quite young. We started with the first betas in May.
    Last week we just released the first commercial products: ARBrowser and Image Matching SDKs. Both 29 EUR per app and platform (developer license).
    You can find more info:

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