The augmented reality sector (AR) is currently one of the fastest growing fields in software technologies. With Google’s augmented reality glasses hitting the streets, advertisers fusing AR into marketing campaigns for multinational and Fortune 500 corporations, and tech companies like Gravity Jack (Http://gravityjack.com) developing unique software that enables visual search and recognition of almost any object, in real time, the experience of AR is primed to jump from a “thing of the future” to an everyday reality.
To get on board this fast moving train, the discerning developer will have an edge over the competition if they know a thing or two about these essential programs.
1. SDKs (for the uninitiated, that’s short for Software Development Kits).
SDKs are tools, which allow applications to be created for a certain platform or in some cases for multiple platforms. Important examples of SDKs:
- metaio—one of the biggest, and extremely flexible, metaio SDK can be used for Andriod, iOS, and Windows.
- browsAR—a unique SDK that employs real-time visual search, and has a free app for both Andriod and iOS.
- Vuforia AR—a kit used specifically for mobile devices, some of you may recognize it under its former name QCAR.
2. Content Management Systems
CMS are backend software solutions that allow developers to edit, publish, and modify from one centralized location. A few important CMS to know:
- metaio Creator, a CMS that launches from the desktop.
- Hoppala Augmentation, a web based platform for mobile AR.
- buildAR, also web based but specific to geolocation and tracking.
3. End-to-End AR Brands
The term end-to-end is what it sounds like. With end-to-end all things are considered: user interface, device, OS, apps, and services. Some are more comprehensive than others, but most provide solutions for a good portion of the spectrum. Here they are, in all their glory:
- Alive app—a brief sync and this app bring any ad, article, photo, label or logo alive
- Aurasma—“Uses advanced image and pattern recognition to blend the real-world with rich interactive content such as videos and animations called ‘Auras.’”
- Google Goggles—Presumably, you don’t live in a cave, so you know what these are.
- Junaio—A product of metaio, and seriously all encompassing.
- Layar—This easy to use self-service web application has it all, geolocation and the ability to give static images interactive qualities.
- Wikitude—Maybe it’s just the name, but everyone seems to love Wikitude. This comprehensive, well designed, and fashionably branded system interacts with the world and provides a wealth of wiki style information at the user’s fingertips.