Real Case Study on Successful Augmented Reality Apps

Augmented reality (AR) is an interactive experience which enhanced the real-life environment around us into a digital interface by putting virtual objects in real-time. Augmented Reality uses the existing environment and overlays new information on the top of it unlike virtual reality, which creates a totally artificial environment. Augmented Reality can be seen through a variety of experiences.

Recent developments have made this technology accessible using a smartphone which led to development of wide variety of augmented reality apps.

The first commercial application of AR technology was the yellow “first down” line that began appearing in televised football games in 1998. Some other popular examples of AR apps include AcrossAir, Google Sky Map, Layar, Lookator, SpotCrime, PokemonGo etc. We have collected 8 examples of augmented reality apps and how they can impact the future of mobile technology.

Categories of AR Apps and Examples of their Usage:

a) Augmented Reality in 3D viewers:

This allows users to put life-size 3D models in their environment with or without the use of trackers. Trackers are the simple images that 3D models can be linked to in Augmented Reality.

1. AUGMENT:

Augment allows its users to see their products in 3D in a real-life environment and in real-time through tablets or smartphones to drive sales and improve user engagement. This app can be used for Retail, E-Commerce, Architecture, and other purposes also. Augment allows retailers and manufacturers to connect with each other and thereby enable the online shoppers to experience the products sitting at home before buying. Customers can view the images in 3D by rotating them and viewing all the augmented content before deciding to buy. It has plenty of customers, companies such as Coca-Cola, Siemens, Nokia, Nestle, and Boeing are using this application.

2. Sun-Seeker:

Sun-Seeker is an AR app which provides a flat compass view and a 3D view showing the solar path, its hour intervals, its equinox, winter and summer solstice paths, sunrise and sunset times, twilight times, magic hours and also a Map view showing solar direction for each daylight hour. The app runs on both the mediums i.e., Android and iOS. The app has got 3+ ratings from its users. The app is perfect for –

  • Photographers – For planning ideal light conditions, sunrise or sunset directions, golden and blue hour times
  • Cinematographers – To search for the exact exposure of Sun, directions and times for any location.
  • Real Estate Buyers – To search for the sun exposure properties that the customers are considering
  • Drivers – To find how long the car will remain in the shade at any parking spot
  • Campers – To find where to camp, sit or pitch an umbrella
  • Gardeners – Helps to search for ideal locations for planting and seasonal sunlight hours
  • Architects – For visualizing the spatial variability of the solar angle throughout the year.

b) Augmented Reality in Browsers:

The AR browsers can enhance users’ camera display with contextual information. For example, when you point your smartphone at a building, you can see its history or estimated value.

3. ARGON4:

This is a fully-featured web browser that has the ability to display augmented reality content created with the argon.js Javascript framework. argon.js makes it easier for adding augmented reality content to the web applications in a platform and technology-independent way and supports the real-time AR capabilities of the Argon4 Browser. The Argon4 browser is available on both iTunes App Store and Google Play Store.

Argon4 allows any 3D view of reality to be augmented. Developers can make their own custom views of reality, anything that displays a view of the world can be built into a reality for Argon. Argon4 is very much similar to a normal web browser that allows multiple pages to be loaded into different tabs but it handles the case of multiple AR apps in a special way.

4. AR Browser SDK:

This is a browser created by ARLab. This browser allows the users to add augmented reality geolocation view to the Android and or iOS application in less than 5 minutes. With user-friendly API (Application Programming Interface), it can be fully customized. The framework takes care of all the complex functions of the augmented reality browser.

Features :

  • It provides video support.
  • It adds and removes single POIs in real time.
  • It can run on any device.
  • It offers great performance and memory management.
  • It has an exceptionally light view, smooth and accurate movements.
  • It provides custom activities like SMS, call, email, video, social networks and more.

c) Augmented Reality Games:

AR Gaming software is probably the most common type of App. These apps create mesmeric gaming experiences that use your actual surroundings.

5. Pokémon Go:

The most popular AR game till date is Pokémon Go which allows users to catch virtual Pokémon that are hidden throughout the map of the real world. It uses real locations to encourage players to far and wide in the real world to discover Pokemon. The game enables the players to search and catch more than a hundred species of Pokemon as they move in their surroundings. The app works on both the mediums i.e., Android and iOS.

Key Data Points of Pokémon Go:

  • Total Downloads till date – 650 Million times
  • Percentage of iOS users who do in-app purchases – 80%
  • Daily Active Users Globally – 5 Million
  • Estimated amount of revenue generated – $1 Billion
  • Apple Store Rankings – 3 stars
  • Google Play Rankings – 4.2 stars

6. REAL STRIKE:

This is a popular shooting AR game which is available only on iOS. The users get a real life shooting experience in this game and can record their fights and also create their own videos. There is a pool which has been polluted by nuclear waste and a group of pests is just around the corner so players have to stop them infecting the earth. Users use their phone to scan the mark.The game offers night and thermal vision goggles to get a clear view even in the evening to complete your mission.

  • This is the world’s first ever Augmented Reality First-Person-Shooting app.
  • The game is Ranked 1st in U.S. and China during the limited free offering.
  • Best ranked top 50 in U.S. and top 10 in Japan and Germany.
  • The game has got 3+ ratings on Apple Store.
  • It is the first ever AR shooting movie maker that allows users to make a fun video or take a snapshot.
  • It provides extremely high-precision gun models with 8000 vertices on average.

d) Augmented Reality GPS:

AR applications in smartphones generally include Global Positioning System (GPS) to spot the user’s location and its compass to detect device orientation.

7. AR GPS Drive/Walk Navigation:

The application makes use of the smartphone’s GPS and camera to execute a car navigation system with
an augmented reality-powered technology. It is easier and safer than the normal navigation system for the driver. This application is available only on Android.

This app guides the drivers directly by the virtual path of the camera preview video which makes it easy for them to understand. The drivers do not need to map the map the path and the road while using this app. The driver can see the real-time camera preview navigation screen to get driving condition without hindering his safety.

Ratings: 3.9 stars on Google Play
Estimated Total Users: More than 4,000,000 downloads till date.

8. AR GPS Compass Map 3D:

The app shows a 3D compass that gets fused with the camera image and shows your current location from GPS on a separate map with adjustable size. The app can only run on Android interface. The compass uses a very effective amalgamation and filtering algorithm to combine the values of the magnetic field sensor, the accelerometer, and the gyroscope to get the maximum accuracy and stability which is a different feature as compared to other apps.

The users can define their own waypoints if they want. The app also allows the users to share their current location and the locations of their waypoints with their friends. The app also features a 3D stereoscopic view of the compass and the camera image on devices which have LG’s Real 3D technology.

Ratings: 4.3 stars on Google Play
Estimated Total Users: More than 400,000 downloads till date

 

CONCLUSION :

AR apps are growing at a tremendous speed as they give businesses a different edge which attracts the customers. It is a technology that has changed the face of smartphone apps and gaming. AR adds digital images and data to amplify views of the real world, giving users more information about their environments and interactive with them. This step is beyond virtual reality, which attempts to simulate reality.

What is new in iPadOS? Should I upgrade now?

Good news! Apple has now pushed the latest version of its software live. It’s the first time Apple has made a piece of software that’s specifically designed for iPads. It’s now ready to download around the world, and it should come up as iPadOS 13.1 when you’re ready to download it.

The new operating system is a big change for Apple, which finally committed to splitting the iPad’s software from the iPhone’s iOS it had run on since the tablet first came out.

The update means iPad owners are finally able to play Apple Arcade, the new gaming subscription service – and enjoy all the new tricks and tweaks coming to Apple tablets.

Which iPads work with iPadOS?

The following iPads can get an update to iPadOS now:

  • iPad Pro 12.9 (2018)
  • iPad Pro 12.9 (2017)
  • iPad Pro 12.9 (2015)
  • iPad Pro 11 (2018)
  • iPad Pro 10.5 (2017)
  • iPad Pro 9.7 (2016)
  • iPad Air (2019)
  • iPad Air 2
  • iPad (2018)
  • iPad (2017)
  • iPad Mini (2019)
  • iPad Mini 4

Below, we have a list of the best iPadOS features you’re now able to experience when the new software hits your slate. It “builds on the same foundation as iOS,” according to Apple, but expect iPadOS to grow more into its own operating system over time.

iPadOS brings a variety of critical improvements to the tablet UI. Some of these make better use of screen real estate while others introduce new gesture controls (and even mouse support) for a better tablet experience.

1. New iPadOS home screen

(Image credit: Apple)

The first big change over you’ll notice in iPadOS is on the new home screen. The grid of app icons is tighter, allowing you to fit more on the screen and reducing the amount of dead space on the display.

With a tighter grid of apps, there’s now an option to show Today View alongside them, for a more useful overview screen.

It can be added to the Home screen for quick access to widgets with a simple swipe from the left side of the screen, and you can switch out the widgets pinned here to display the ones most relevant to you.

 

2. iPadOS gets USB drive and SD card support

(Image credit: Apple)

External storage fans rejoice! iPadOS allows you to plug a USB drive or SD card reader into your iPad, and the Files app will be able to read the plugin and allow you to easily manage data between the iPad’s internal storage and the external drive.

Files gets a Column View to better take advantage of the iPad’s wide screen, and the iCloud Drive allows folder sharing, and will show content from a USB drive or SD card if they’re plugged in.

There’s good news for photographers too, as support is being built into iPadOS to allow you to plug your camera into your iPad and import images directly into editing apps such as Lightroom.

3. DARK MODE

Apple put some care into getting this right, it’s far more than just an inversion of white and black. You’ll find a surprising number of apps support it — even if they are still in the minority, it’s more than I expected at this point.

I especially like that you can just set it on a schedule, just like with Night Shift. I still think that dark mode is more of a UI trend than a genuine improvement, but that’s not a knock against it. User interfaces have trends just like fashion, but I think dark mode is going to last if only because it makes the screen so much nicer to view at night.

4. New FILES APP

When Apple switched the iPad Pro over to USB-C, everybody started thinking about that port as useful for something other than a charger. And with iOS 12, very few things actually worked.

With iPadOS, that port has been allowed to do more things, and the best set of features is in the Files app. It can read USB drives and cards directly now, and you can even unplug those devices without the operating system chiding you.

But Apple did much more than that. It added a column view, set it up to work better with external servers, and finally allows you to just set up and organize local folders more easily.

Related: Safari has a proper download manager now that can download nearly any file, not just the limited set that iOS allowed before.

5. iPadOS performance boost

Your current iPad could get a performance boost when iPadOS arrives, with Apple claiming that its tablet-specific operating system is quicker than iOS 12.

It says Face ID unlocks are up to 30% faster, while apps launch up to twice as fast as on iOS 12 – and apps themselves should be smaller in download size (by up to 50%), taking up less of that precious storage space.

6. Desktop-quality websites and browsing on iPadOS

The Safari web browser is also improved with iPadOS, because it’s no longer purely tied to iOS and a mobile ecosystem.

That’s right: you’re no longer just viewing mobile sites, as iPadOS views websites in a modified desktop view that’s a bit cleaner and optimized for touch.

It doesn’t just work with Apple’s websites either – the likes of Google Docs and WordPress web apps will also work better with Safari on iPadOS.

Apple’s browser will also get a download manager, 30 new keyboard shortcuts, and improved tab management when iPadOS lands later this year.

7. New iPadOS gestures

In some apps, you’ll also be able to two-finger-pinch the keyboard to shrink it to iOS mobile size and move it around. Plunk it next to the side of the screen and boom: you can type on it with one thumb.

Add to that the new gestures for the home screen and multi-tasking, and there may be a learning curve required to get used to all the new interactions which come with iPadOS.

8. Markup and much more on iPadOS

Markup also gets an update, and you’ll be able to mark up entire web pages, documents and emails.

A simple swipe up from the corner with your Apple Pencil launches markup and brings up the newly-redesigned tool palette, which can be dragged around and repositioned anywhere on the screen.

And speaking of the Pencil, Apple has reduced the latency of its input from 20ms to 9ms, which means you’ll get a more natural, pen-like experience when using it.

9. Mouse support for iPadOS

iPadOS does support connecting a mouse to your iPad, though it’s not something you’ll find front-and-center on the official iPadOS features list.

Developer Steve Troughton-Smith initially tweeted out instructions he’d discovered to connect a mouse through new Accessibility settings, and Tom’s Guide successfully activated a mouse on an iPad.

While it doesn’t seem to be the smoothest thing, we’re excited for a serious leap in the iPad family’s productivity potential and accessibility.

 

Conclusion

Again, you should not judge what you are installing today based on this, but you might want to be prepared for some weirdness still. I can’t help but think that iPadOS is getting pushed out a little early because it needs to go out with iOS 13.1 — which itself needs to be rushed out because iOS 13.0 is super buggy.

Luckily, the most catastrophic bugs (like losing data in iCloud) seem to have been well and thoroughly quashed. But you might have some apps crash or freeze. Waiting a little longer to install — or at least avoiding installing on day one — is never a terrible idea.