Apple’s WWDC 2017 had many highlights, and ARKit, an AR app platform for the iPhone and iPad, was one of them. While Google’s promising Tango platform is currently available only on a handful of mobile devices, Apple’s ARKit will be available across the entire iOS ecosystem, making it “the largest AR platform in the world.”
Since Apple is famous for forwarding technologies and setting trends, the full-scale arrival of AR will immently start towards the end of 2017.
If you are planning to stay ahead of the competition and surprise your app’s users with AR experiences and features, now is probably the best time to get creative and start the planning process.
Intellectsoft has gathered the best AR apps in the history of the technology to help you kickstart that creative process. From most recent examples, like NikeID AR app, to IKEA’s effective augmented reality catalogue, here are the AR mobile apps to draw inspiration from — whether you want to gamify your app, build a custom enterprise application or healthcare software, or infuse your business with any other software solution.
Best AR Apps — NikeID in-store AR app (2017)
Nike utilises an AR iOS app in their brand new invention at the Nike Store on Avenue des Champs-Élysées in Paris. Customers put one of three available sneakers into the stand-like device and use the tablet app built into the device to customise it. The application instantly projects the changes on the sneaker by activating the video-mapping devices installed into the stand.
The AR app marks Nike’s effort to merge the online and in-store shopping experience. The stand is a physical extension of Nike’s highly popular online sneaker customization service, NikeID. This also means that users can login with existing credentials to create unique sneaker designs.
The NikeID app is by far one of the best examples among AR iOS apps and in mobile apps general: the experience is frictionless, and the customer value is high.
Best AR Apps — The Sample (2010)
Converse came up with an AR app that overlays a shopper’s foot with a sneaker of their choice using the smartphone camera to see if it matches and fits. There was an in-app purchase option (The Sampler is no longer available), and the users could share photos with the sneakers on social media.
Best AR Apps — Google Translate (2017)
Translate does not exactly belong to full-scale AR apps, but it uses the technology effectively nonetheless. The app’s camera mode allows users to take a photo of a text and then translate it to over a dozen languages. Considering that Translate now utilises machine learning, the spot-on translations could be useful anywhere — in the enterprise, on a trip, or anywhere else.
Best AR Apps — IBM’s Shopping App (2013)
IBM has created an an essential AR app for retail. Using the smartphone’s camera and advanced image processing technologies, the app delivers on a promise of a personalised shopping experience by providing product information and comparisons when a smartphone is pointed at an item. The app can also be used to send personal offers, loyalty rewards, incentives, as well as suggest similar products. On top of that, IBM’s AR app also ranks products on a number of criteria, like price and nutritional value.
Best AR Apps — IKEA’s Catalogue (2013)
IKEA’s app can be easily regarded as the classic augmented reality app. The users simply pull up a smartphone or a tablet and point their cameras to the spot where they want to put the chosen piece of furniture, to see if fits and matches the room. Introduced back in 2013, the catalogue app is popular to this day, remaining one of the best AR apps for Android and iOS to this day.
Best AR Apps — IBM and NY Times AR app (2017)
Drawing inspiration from Pokemon Go, IBM and The New York Times decided to gamify lessons in history. Their Outthink Hidden augmented reality app invites users to find historical figures in science and technology in 150 location across the US. Upon finding a pedestal with a QR code, the users will access their statue, biographical information, and related visual and audio content.
Best AR Apps — Skype for HoloLens (2016)
Microsoft’s promising and much-anticipated AR headset HoloLens doesn’t have a commercial release date yet, but enterprises, custom mobile app development companies, and other businesses can already buy and test it. More importantly, there is a suite of augmented reality apps available — including Skype. Promotional video content is one thing, but existing user videos already showcase that Skype for HoloLens can be valuable in daily usage — be it a Skype call to a friend or taking your Chinese client on a full-scale virtual trip through your US office — without the need for both of you to leaves your offices.
Best AR Apps — Gap Dressing Room AR App (2017)
Gap’s AR app has all the chances of becoming a time-saving option for those too busy to go shopping. With the Dressing Room feature, users pull up their smartphones and outline their body dimensions, which then become reflected in a mannequin on the smartphone screen and appear in any spot you point the camera to. Concurrently, the app provides all the necessary product information in a clean interface, making the purchase even easier.
Best AR Apps — Anatomy 4D (2015)
This augmented reality application helps users learn human anatomy in a compelling way. The users print out images with different parts of human body and human heart, and they come alive on the screen in intricate detail. The systems of a human body can be examined individually and up-close with Zoom option. Anatomy is visually stunning, well-developed, and immaculately designed, making the process of learning anatomy a pleasure. More so, it illustrates how augmented reality apps can contribute to various operations in healthcare and education.
Best AR Apps — Snapchat (2011, AR feature introduced in 2015)
According to Ari Bloom, CEO of Avametric (who built the aforementioned augmented reality app for GAP), AR has a gentler learning curve than VR. Here, Snapchat is a better example than Pokémon Go. Employing face recognition, the messaging app’s widely popular “Lens” feature allows users to overlay selfies and other photos with different effects — a simple but sufficient AR feature that indicates people will readily embrace augmented reality apps (the number of Snapchat’s daily active users has amounted to 166 million in May 2017).
If you need help with your AR app, get in touch with us — we will help you with consultation and development.