Numerous technology experts forecast a significant change in the augmented reality app development cost in 2020.
How much does it cost to make an app with the augmented reality feature this year? How will augmented reality development cost differ from the one of 2019? Let’s clear things out.
The cost of a mobile AR app directly depends on the hourly rate charged by augmented reality development companies, and on the time required for its development.
The higher the hourly rate and the more time is spent, the higher the total cost is.
One of the vital factors that influenced the efficiency of developing augmented reality applications in all agencies in 2020 is the release of software development kits (SDK) for Apple and Google.
They revolutionized the whole industry.
These platforms greatly facilitate the development of augmented reality applications and reduce the time required for this.
This fact allows us to believe that application development services will cost cheaper than in 2019.
Before the release of official SDKs from both Google and Apple, most AR apps were based on overlaying 3D computer-generated images or some descriptive data superimposed over real-time pictures created via a built-in smartphone camera.
These methodologies require in-depth knowledge of image processing and digital imaging technology, especially to track either markers or the real features that overlap with this computer vision for augmented reality developments.
3D graphics should look as realistic as possible, so it matches the real environment and can create a positive user interface.
Also, AR developers had to have a strong computer vision knowledge and 3D modeling skills, which included texturing, shading, and rendering.
Factors influencing the AR app cost
With the appearance of the SDKs, AR app development has become easier and cheaper. But you still need to determine the value of your future AR solution accurately.
Inexperienced entrepreneurs usually take into account only rates per hour instead of an in-depth analysis of all factors that can affect the overall augmented reality app development cost.
In the next paragraph, we will look at the main aspects of planning your budget.
The app functionality, its set of features, and design are the most significant factors in determining the AR app development cost.
The more features in your augmented reality application and the more complex they are, the more money you will have to spend on your project.
If you need a shopping app, then the primary functionality can look like the following:
- Users log in to the app via a chosen social network;
- In the product discovery feed, users select a preferred product category;
- Within the chosen category, users explore suggested products;
- Users can add a product to favorites or a wish list;
- Having selected a particular product, users can purchase in the in-app shopping cart;
- The customers proceed with payment through the app.
If you have already created a shopping app, you can easily add the AR functionality to it.
One of the impressive examples of AR ecommerce apps is Hutch. It is a mobile AR solution that offers users to design their homes backed by Zillow, US largest online real estate company.
For example, Hutch offers users to design their living room, bedroom and dining room. After users chose a room they want to design, they have two options:
- They can select an empty interior in the AR app and furnish it with items from the catalog.
- Or they can take a photo of their interior, wait until the app 3d renders this space and furnish the room as they like.
To take advantage of the AR technology your app should provide a catalog of products that can be virtually placed in the user’s environment through a camera.
Also, your AR app should help users make purchasing decisions. For instance, if you sell clothes through an app, your customers should be able to take a photo of themselves and check which clothes will better fit them using your solution.
It will help customers better understand whether a particular item fully satisfies their needs and stimulate more user engagement.
IOS or Android? Or both?
Another factor that influences the cost of your AR application is the platform.
The comparison of iOS and Android is explained in one of our recent articles The primary capabilities of ARKit and ARCore.
To determine the platform to begin with, you should not forget about the preferences of your target audience.
We highly recommend starting the creation of an augmented reality application based on one particular platform, since this approach is cheaper and faster than focusing on two operating systems simultaneously.
When there is proof of concept, and your application is coping with the requirements of your target audience, you can adjust your AR app to another platform.
Creating IOS apps usually takes less time than Android, because different mobile devices running on a platform created by Google have different screen sizes and other technologies for AR.
If you decide to create an AR app for both platforms, please don’t forget that parallel development is an expensive task. You might consider a cross-platform development using special tools like React Native.
Depending on how complex your AR app will be, its price will vary. How realistic is 3D graphics? What technologies should be used in the development process? How many different types of content will your application offer?
All these aspects, but not limited to, can significantly affect the overall cost of your AR solution.
The more innovative the design, the pricier your app will be. Great design, indeed, cannot be cheap.
If you strive to make your design a distinguishing element of your mobile application, you shouldn’t try to save your money on it. It is indeed vital if you count on the future success of your project and we hope you do.
That’s why, in the case of a highly limited budget, it makes sense to prioritize your requirements with your target audience in mind. If you know that your potential customers need a better design more than advanced functionality, then you should consider shortening your list of necessary features.
In most cases, holding the middle line is the right decision. Providing a complete set of necessary functions, you will not need to create something that would look cutting-edge.
The last but not the least factor of the augmented reality cost for your app is a team you consider hiring.
According to data collected from open resources, the average global app development hourly rate equals $150.
The cost to develop an augmented reality app
In this paragraph, we will calculate in detail the average price of an ordinary AR mobile app, taking into account the main factors affecting the cost.
Taking into account that the augmented reality app design is, in fact, the very first aspect that users pay attention to immediately after installing the mobile solution, you must provide them with very detailed 3D graphics.
An AR mobile application (e.g., ecommerce one) can take from five to seven weeks. This process includes both user experience (UX) and interface (UI) design.
UX design consists of creating the following parts:
- Information architecture (how necessary data and functionality will be organized within your app);
- Wireframes (creating screens and assigning both data and functions);
- Workflows (pathways a user can explore within an app);
- Click-through models in tools like InVision (they allow testing both workflows and wireframes).
UI design consists of creating the following parts:
- Color scheme
- Mobile app layout and look
- Press Kit with the brand’s unique imagery
- Design for stationery, ads, and other collateral pieces
- Brand book and style guide
The whole design process takes around 200 and 280 hours.
The coding phase includes the implementation of both the functionality and styles of the mobile application. This process consists of front-end and back-end development.
The front-end development is a process of writing the code for an app while the back-end development is implementing those parts of your app that are hidden from users (web API and server).
The augmented reality development process at Jasoren is divided into iterations. Each iteration is a two-weeks-long process during which developers implement the functionality planned. When the iteration ends, we prepare a demo for our clients where they can see how the implemented features work. Then we create a backlog for the next iteration, prioritize it and start building the required functionality. And the cycle goes on until all the features of the app are done.
The minimum time we’ve spent on AR app development is about 250-600 hours.
Without proper testing, your AR app is doomed to fail. We perform testing at the end of each iteration using both manual and automated testing methods.
The cost of testing is always included in the overall AR app development cost and amounts to about $12,000.
Time needed: 80-120 hours.
Cost: $12,000 – $18,000.
To build an augmented reality ecommerce app, you will have to spend 490 to 960 hours (approximately 3-6 months). It ranges from $73,500 to $144,000.
Plan your budget wisely
Unfortunately, the journey of spending money on an AR application doesn’t end with its development. Once your solution is completed, you must report this to your target audience, and then monetize it.
Ad displays, guest posts, both native and video advertising will take a large part of your budget. You shouldn’t forget that promoting an AR app is a long and continuous process.
It may sound disappointing, but you should be ready for additional expenses on unexpected situations that may occur because of, for instance, missed deadlines, especially when you entrust your project to unverified specialists.
In general, to create and make your augmented reality app known, you should be prepared to invest at least $100,000-$200,000. Compared to millions spent on popular AR apps like Pokémon Go, it’s definitely worth it.
Read more about augmented reality in different industries: