Since the launch of ARKit and ARCore, developers all over the world have been busy experimenting with technology to create new experiences. Even though most of the apps right now are focused on games, we can already see early applications in categories like retail and shopping, utility and entertainment.
I started my AR journey last year experimenting with ARKit and trying to build awesome experiences via time-crunched hackathons. Here is an example of a hack turned startup that I did last year:
If you are a developer, there are several reasons why you should get on this "buzz" right now:
Spatial computing is the future
We are now moving from a mobile computing to a spatial computing era. This transformation comes with a great learning curve. What this means for a developer is that the app development frameworks that worked in the mobile era will no longer fit the spatial era. Even though this transformation comes with a learning curve, as a developer this is the time to get on board to learn and build frameworks that will serve as the foundation for the next generation to come.
Big players are investing in AR
Apple, Google, Facebook, Snapchat and many other prominent tech players have been pushing AR forward. It has been the central showcase of every developer conference this year (WWDC and Google I/O). We all know that AR is coming and it is only just a few years when it becomes mainstream.
Google wants to bring multiplayer AR to iOS and Android with its new Cloud Anchors tool
App store is already exhausted with "normal" apps. AR apps are the new kids on the block
It is much harder than ever for a developer to get on to the top ranks in the app store. People are barely downloading any apps nowadays and even if they do it is very hard to retain the user to keep coming back to your app. If you want your app to be downloaded by even a decent number of users, it requires a heck lot of outbound marketing (in-app ads, search ads etc) which is a great expense. So what is the cheapest and easiest way?
Today, over 3,000 AR apps on the App Store, such as Kings of Pool, Alice in Wonderland AR Quest and Houzz, creating an even more engaging way for customers to shop, learn and play games.
AR offers a sweet spot for a developer to reach the spotlight. Apple has a dedicated section for AR Games and recently launched AR Spotlight to showcase a single app. It is a great time to be an AR app developer and get a lot of eyeballs for free marketing. All you have to do is make that killer app.
New job opportunities for AR devs
AR is rising and what this also means for the developer is that it is opening up new job opportunities. A simple google jobs search for "AR developer" now returns more than a 100 job postings hiring right now all requiring knowledge of Computer Vision or familiarity with ARKit/ARCore.
Lastly, you should just because how else can you make a real-life Street Fighter Game?
So how can you get started?
I have curated a list of some awesome communities to connect with developers in the same boat as you, hoping this will be useful to some of you:
ARKitCreators: 500+ developers discussing their next AR projects.
NextReality: 300+ AR developers and designers
AugDevs: 180+ developers seeking resources, conferences, jobs, meetups etc.
PlacenoteDevs: Placenote persistently links your augmented reality content to places and objects in the real world with their markerless, cloud SDK for iOS. 300+ developers
ViroDevelopers: Viro lets you build a VR/AR applications using React Native or Java. Here is a sample app built using Viro.
6d-developers: 6D.ai provides APIs for AR. Their SDK makes building AR experiences with persistence, occlusion, and multiplayer capabilities super easy. Plus it is cross-platform. 260+ developers
8thWallDevs: 8th Wall XR is an AR platform that works on all commonly available iOS and Android phones and integrates with ARKit and ARCore.
WebVR: For all the Web AR/VR enthusiasts, this slack community is the most active with over 4000+ developers.
HoloDevelopers: For HoloLens developers. 2000+ members.
Augmented Reality topic on Product Hunt
ARKitWeekly is a curated list of all the latest and greatest tutorials and developer demos
Made With ARKit
Hand-picked curation of the coolest stuff made with Apple's ARKit
Follow #ARKit #arkit2 #AR #madewithARKit to stay up-to-date with AR demos.
If you know of any other awesome communities and resources that should be on this list, please comment or drop me a private note. If you would like the links to slack communities, check out my medium post here