Wednesday, November 22, 2017

An iPhone App Developer’s Outlook on the Possibilities of AR Design

By now, we are all getting used to hearing about the potential of augmented and virtual reality, and although AR and VR signified trends of future app development, they are slowly starting to occupy a space in the current. Both innovations are intended to offer a more realistic feel of the 2D experience we are seeing on our screens. But, to grasp the direction of AR design for iPhone app development, it is useful to differentiate between the two - augmented reality works by enhancing the viewer interaction with computer-created additions, while VR simulates a real-life experience. 

AR and iPhone Apps: A Match Made in Heaven
The 3D design area of AR has manifested for iPhones with the introduction of Apple’s ARkit, which offers a far greater potential for human-computer interaction than the silly face filters which marked the beginning of the trend. Giving priority to other novelties, Apple has adopted a careful approach to ARkit and the tool is only gently finding its way into iOS developers’ hands. However, this is precisely why iPhone app developers can now have the biggest piece of the pie - we haven’t yet seen AR’s full-blown potential and the area is ripe for groundbreaking innovations. 

As it turns out, you don’t even need to be an iPhone app developer to dive into creating AR environments because you can find a short course on Udacity! As with any new design tool, not every iPhone developer will become the master of the craft, but if we think of the way technology is getting enmeshed with our lives at home and while we move, some areas like vehicles, fitness and housing are more attractive for honing your iPhone development skills than others. The impact on photography with the True Depth camera is a story of its own.

Where’s the Focus of iPhone App Development
The new challenges for app developers are related to finding new ways to experiment with the user controls and interaction with the AR environment, as well as to taking into account the user position within the new 3D framework. Adding another dimension when scaling the readability and information hierarchy doesn't make things easier, either, but it also provides an exciting curvilinear view of playing with reality. 

AR in Fitness 
Our real environment is never two-dimensional. The view changes strikingly more when we are moving and exercising. Apple has proven a master for health and fitness apps, and AR can be the next focus of iPhone app developers - why not use the ARkit for what it can do best - get you on the go while you have the sharpest overview of the terrain ahead. For example, the cycling and running application Strava offers amazing in-depth graphs and charts of rides with the help of Fitness AR and Mapbox. Now you can bring your videos from the camera roll to the social media in 3D with the help of the screen-recording feature. As far as the possibilities of AR and fitness apps, Strava is only a drop in the ocean, and this is a promising field for iPhone app developers. 

Augmented Smart Homes
We may be seeing a different meaning to the saying “breathe in a new life” when iPhone apps start enlivening our home spaces following Ikea’s example. Ikea is famous for its practical and pioneering spirit, so it is not a surprise that it is the first one to help you move around furniture to create a new home space with the Ikea Place app. For now, AR may be only within the realm of interior decoration, but it can easily be stretched as far as to encompassing facility management and construction on a wider scale. 

AR Head-up Displays
Talking about a crisp fresh dashboard! Continental’s head-up display is now only an automotive novelty which helps the driver project the exterior view of the traffic conditions on the vehicle’s front windshield, and it is only a part of the vehicle software. Thinking about how much time we spend commuting and how we like having all our data at hand, iPhone apps using augmented reality can implement dozens of vehicle-friendly enhancements to make the journey safer, more enjoyable or more practical. Weather apps also fit in the puzzle perfectly. 

To maximize AR, iPhone app developers now need to develop new skills for visualizing 2D data from a screen into a 3D environment which enables plenty more options for texture and personalization. While many are waiting for the next big app, there is an exciting landscape ahead that is definitely worth exploring.

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