The world of application development has witnessed significant changes since previous decades.
The augmented reality and virtual reality initiation in the software and applications, the industry gains an instant boom.
It is estimated that by the year 2022, the market’s net worth will be in between $3.5 billion. The rapid inclusion of the AR apps in the application development has also contributed to increasing it.
As an application developer, you must be aware of the step by step guide for creating an engaging AR APP.
Choosing Adequate SDK
Several factors should be considered before selecting the adequate Software Development Kit (SDK).
- Cost: if you are a beginner, then you can use the open-source SDK. When you get professional, you can use paid SDKs that are equipped with multiple advance features.
- Platform: well, there are many platform choices; but the adequate choice is to select from iOS or Google platform. As other operating platforms may provide you with limited options.
- Type: before selecting the toolkit, you have to choose the type of application. Will your application work through image recognition or GPS?
- Unity Compatibility: it is the most famous gaming platform. To assure that your app must be unity supported for attracting a significant amount of users.
- Storage: you have to select between the cloud and local storage depending upon the markers being used in the app.
Build an AR Android App with ARCore
The ARCore is a toolkit developed by Google that can be used to create an AR Android app. The augment reality and virtual content is infused by using three different technologies;
Environmental Understanding: the location and size are being detected. It can detect the dynamic of the surface.
Motion Tracking: it provides awareness regarding different positions of the world.
Light Estimation: it enables to estimate the current position and intensity of light.
The platforms’ relevancy and adequacy are evident because it is being used in 400 million applications across the globe. Let’s initiate the step by step process of creating an AR app.
- Initiate the Project
For the usage of the ArCore in the project, you have to enable the app development. It is a relatively simpler step, as these operations are performed automatically. The steps are;
- Ask for the camera permission
- Check the availability of ARCore
If you are using the Sceneform SDK, then this additional step will be eliminated. In the build add Gradle file of your project in the following dependency;
Now sync the Gradle files and wait till the build is finished.
The Sceneform SDK will be installed by the end of the project is finished. The .sfb files are visible that enables the view of 3D models rendered in the camera.
- Create your ARCore App
Since the complete installation of the Android Setup and Sceneform SDK is installed, the app’s writing will be initiated.
Firstly, the layout file of the Sceneform will be added. You have to place all your 3D models at this place. The permission handling and camera initialization will be catered at this step.
Now navigate to your main layout file. I have to cater the activity_main.xml. After this step, add the Sceneform fragment.
The dimensions have been selected to match parent as this will cover the whole activity. The dimensions can be selected as per your convenience.
- Check compatibility
The aforementioned steps were the total work required in the layout file. I guess it is more convenient that any beginner will think.
The sequential process that I have followed for the MainActivity.java is as follows;
This step is to evaluate that, either your device will support the Sceneform SDK or not. The SDK requires OpenGL Es and API level 27 latest versions to function.
If the device cannot support any of the above-mentioned software, the SDK will not function. The application will show a blank screen in such a case.
Though, other features that do not demand the Sceneform SDK can still be used in the project development. As our compatibility check is completed till here, we will move towards the 3D model building.
- Add the assets
Now the 3D model that has to be rendered on the screen will be included in this stage. You have two options; either builds a 3D model by yourself, which is a difficult task.
Or you can use the Poly. It is a platform powered by Google, which supports creating the 3D model. It also provides the readymade 3D models to be used in your project.
When you expand your app in the Android Studio, you will find a folder of ‘Sampledata’ at the left most corner of the project pane.
When the file from Poly is downloaded, you will probably get three formats of file; .mtl, .obj, and .png file.
The main 3D model is in these files. Carefully save these file in the ‘Sampledata_> ‘Your model’s folder’.
Right-click on the .obj file. Select the first option and Import Sceneform Asset.
Assure that you do not change the default setting, click the ‘Finish’ button on the window. The Gradle will automatically include the asset in the assets folder.
Once the gradle building is finished, you successfully import the 3D asset file that will be used as a model. Now move towards the next step.
- Build a model
This step is the toughest one in the whole app building.
Don’t worry; all you have to do is focus on the sequential coding I’ll explain to you. The MainActivity.java file will be coded in this. See the following coding;
The fragment that is responsible for hosting the scene is arFragment. This fragment is included in the layout file.
In the next step for building model, the ModelRenderable is used. By using the setSource method, we will see loud our model in the .sfb file.
Then Accept method will receive the model once it is developed. The .exceptionally method was used for error handling.
Don’t worry about the multi-threading as all of these activities will be performed asynchronously.
- Include model in the scene
The arFragment that is responsible for hosting the scene will receive tap events.
Therefore, the tap listener will be installed in the app before place the object. Add the following codes as I have mentioned;
We have used the ontapArPlaneListener for the AR fragment after that is the Java 8 syntax. Using the hitresult. createAnchor the HitResult was created at first and was stored in the Anchor object.
In the next step, the node is created from the anchor. It can be termed as ‘AnchorNode’.
Now we have to create lamppost that will be set on the anchor node.
Till here, the node does not contain any information regarding the object. We have to transfer the information to the node.
Best Tools for creating AR App
The tools that we have used above are the standard set of tools. You can use other tools also for the creation of the AR app. Here are some of the best tools that can be used.
It is one of the leading platforms for the creation of AR apps. Vuforia SDK is capable of recognizing objects of different shapes that include; images, cylinders, and boxes.
If you are willing to embed words and engaging content, then this one is for you. The SDK provides the option of including 100,000 words or even customized vocabulary.
You can utilize it by paying $4/month.
The ARToolKit is an open-source tool for creating AR apps. The tool offers a number of advance and upgraded features; even it is free to use.
- Google ARCore
The Google ARCore is the most advanced and convenient SDK that can be used for creating AR App.
With more than 400 million active users, the app gains its significant position. The ARCore is capable of working with; Unreal, Unity, and Java.
It can also detect motion, understand environmental changes, and even estimate the intensity of light. All of these are provided for free.
- Apple ARKit
In the competition of Google, iOS launch its platform for creating AR Apps.
The toolkit is equipped with Visual Intertial Odometry (VIO) that enables the more accurate and precise estimation of the environment.
According to Assignment Assistance, it can also conveniently robust face tracking and facilitate in applying face effects and creating facial expressions.
The MAXST provides two different toolkits; 2D for image tracking, and 3D for environmental recognition.
It can generally be used for the preparation of maps and other navigating apps. When the kit recognizes the environment, it automatically creates a map of the extended vision.
The Pro-one time will cost you $699.
Wrapping it up
The AR is playing some of the revolutionizing roles in the life of common people. The whole world is being affected by this technology.
This has created an instant rise in the usage and creation of mobile application using AR. These platforms provide you with multiple features and facilitation to create an app.
So all the app developer out there it is good news for you that creating an app becomes more convenient. Do tell me if you use the above-mentioned guidelines for the app creation.
Elaine Vanessa is a Senior Research Analyst and blog writer at Dissertation Assistance famous for their academic services. She is a dedicated lady towards writing, and her dedication is visible in her blogs.