Categories of AR Apps and Examples of their Usage

Augmented Reality (AR) is a technology that amplifies the real world around us by overlaying digital objects. AR is a blend of the real and digital world, unlike Virtual Reality (VR) that eliminates the real-world environment completely and just focuses on the virtual world. Augmented reality provides an immersive experience to the audience. The popularity of smartphones has led to the AR app development of different types worldwide.

Here are the various categories of AR apps and some examples.

Category # 1: AR games

AR gaming app category is arguably the most popular one of all. Augmented reality gaming creates a captivating and enthralling gaming experience for the audience in the real-world environment.

Examples of popular AR app games:

1) Pokémon Go

People all across the globe experienced the true power of augmented reality with the game Pokémon Go. This is the reason why even today it remains the most admired game by people around the world. The main objective behind this game is to trace and find the virtual Pokémon hidden at different locations on the map of the real world. By playing this game, users can search for different Pokémon species, more than a hundred of them while moving around in their real-world surroundings. The Pokémon Go app functions on both the iOS and Android platforms.

Some key facts about the Pokémon Go AR game:

  • 650 million+ downloads till now
  • Around 5 million active users play this game globally
  • Total lifetime revenue generated by this game exceeds 4 billion USD
  • 80 percent of iOS users make in-app purchases for this game
  • Ranks 4.2 stars on Google Play Store and 3 stars on Apple's App Store

2) Real Strike

It is a widely played AR shooting game available only on the iOS platform. By playing this game, users experience real-world shooting. Players can capture their own fights and make videos as well. A pool of water has been completely contaminated by toxic radioactive nuclear material and a collection of pests waiting to infect the entire world. The task of the player is to prevent these pests from poisoning the entire globe. Players also get to wear night vision and thermal goggles which give them clarity after sunset and in the dark at night to shoot whatever they see in front of their camera lens.

Some key facts about the Real Strike AR game:

  • Maiden first-person AR shooting game in the world
  • Ranking of more than 3 stars on Apple's App Store
  • Ranked number 1 in China and the USA during the early free trial
  • One amongst the top 10 games in Germany and Japan
  • Best ranked amongst the top 50 games in the USA
  • Offers ultramodern and precise models of guns having an average of 800 vertices to the users to play with

Category # 2: Augmented reality in 3D (three-dimensional) viewers

This type enables users to place full-scale 3D models in the real-world environment around them. This can be done either by using trackers or without using them. Trackers are nothing but specific patterns or images using which digital 3D objects can be placed precisely in the real world.

1) Sun-seeker

It is an AR app that functions on both the Android and iOS platforms. It allows the users to see the sun position, solar path, its hourly intervals, equinox, summer (estival) and winter (hiemal) solstice, time of sunrise and sunset, twilight times, and much more. This app offers a flat compass view and a 3D view as well. This app has got more than 3-star ratings from users.

The Sun-seeker AR app is best suited for:

  • Vehicle drivers - To know for how long the vehicle will remain in the shade at a particular parking site
  • Real estate property purchasers - To purchase properties depending on sun exposure and sun position
  • Gardeners and horticulturists - To find the most optimal planting locations and positions depending on the sunlight exposure
  • Photographers - Scheduling shoots depending on the perfect light exposure, timing of sunrise and sunset, and golden hour and magic hour
  • Cinematographers - To find the perfect solar position, solar path, sunrise, and sunset for any location
  • Campers - To locate the perfect camping site depending on the position of the sun and sunlight exposure
  • Architects - To visualize the spatial variation of sunlight all year round

2) Augment

It enables users to view 3D objects in the real world around them through the use of smartphones and tablets. It boosts sales and enhances customer engagement. This app is developed for both Apple and Android platforms. It is best suited for retail, m-commerce, e-commerce, and others too. Using this app, businesses can provide a captivating and enthralling shopping experience to the users comfortably sitting on their couch at home. This app eliminates the need for customers to visit physical stores in-person. This AR app enables users to try-before-they-buy a product. Users can actually rotate and see the 3D images of products and be completely satisfied prior to make a purchase.

Category # 3: AR in browsers

AR browsers optimize the camera display of the users' smartphone with context-specific details. For example, when a user points his/her smartphone at any structure or building, the approximate value or history of the property can be found out.

1) AR Browser SDK

This browser was developed by ARLab. It enables users to add AR geo-location views to any iOS or Android application in a time duration of less than 5 minutes. It can be completely customized using user-friendly APIs. All the intricate functions of the AR browser can be handled by this framework.

Major characteristic and features:

  • It can function on any device
  • Capable of adding and removing single POIs in real-time
  • Offers video support
  • Shows precise and accurate movements
  • Provides superior performance
  • Offers call, SMS, social networks, email, videos, and other such custom features

2) Argon 4

It is a feature-rich web browser. It has the potential to display the AR content developed using argon.js. AR content can be easily added to web apps using argon.js without the need to depend on any specific platform or technology.

Argon.js also supports the real-time AR potential of the Argon 4 browser. This browser can be downloaded from Google Play Store and iTunes App Store. Argon 4 enables the augmentation of reality in 3D view.

Developers can make their own customized view of reality. Anything that displays a real-life view can be transformed into a reality for Argon.

Argon 4 resembles a regular web browser. It facilitates loading multiple pages in different tabs simultaneously. It handles multiple augmented reality objects in a unique way.

Category # 4: AR GPS

Generally, AR apps for smartphones have a GPS (Global Positioning System) to detect the location of a user and its compass to identify the orientation of the device.

1) AR GPS compass map 3D

This AR app shows a 3D compass integrated with the camera image and displays the existing location of a user on a separate adjustable split-screen map based on GPS positioning. This app makes locating landmarks extremely easy and convenient. This app only functions on the Android app.

2) AR GPS walk/ drive navigation

This AR-powered app uses the Smartphone's camera and GPS to develop a seamless car navigation system. Using this AR charged navigation system, drivers can easily reach their destination without any hassles. This is because they get to see the virtual path, which guides them.

Augmented reality has brought about a significant transformation in the world of smartphone apps and games. AR apps provide an amplified version of the real world by adding digital elements. It enables the audience to learn more about the real world around them. AR apps for both Android and iOS platforms are growing in popularity. Augmented reality apps are helping businesses and brands connect effectively with their target audience by providing an enriched user experience.

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