Article

Arpita Singh
Arpita Singh 6 March 2019
Categories Technology

Hurdles faced in AR Development

AR, even though its fun to use and play around with, is incredibly hard to achieve. So we have conducted a list of challenges which AR developers face.

Even though Augmented Reality is a new player in the market, in past few years, it has made some giant splashes. And the biggest of them all was Pokemon Go. For the first time, users were made acquainted with the true power of AR and realized how fun it could be. But along with being exciting and fun, this new era of AR has presented a lot of unmined potentials.

In 2016, the AR technology market was worth somewhere around $720 million, and its projected worth by 2022 is $15.497 billion! Technology giants across the globe are working ceaselessly to come up with new and innovative ways of appointing the AR technology and make it something which we can use in our daily lives. From gaming to social media, possibilities are endless.

But everytime a new technology comes, every time anything new starts, there are hurdles which need to be overcome. Over the course of time, this new thing needs to evolve and get polished, and AR technology is not an exception to this rule.

So listed below are some of the challenges of AR technology:

But before we begin:

For those of you who are still unaware of what AR is and how it works, lets get you up to speed.

AR technology creates a world which is a blend of reality and computer-generated elements. This technology superimposes these CG elements on our surroundings and thus lets us experience an enthralling hybrid world. 

1. Hardware

AR technology depends on user devices’ camera to capture the surroundings so that it can superimpose visual data on it. But the catch is, not every device has a similar camera quality. Furthermore, most of these cameras as of now capture 2D images, which is not the best fit as far as AR is concerned.

GPS has always been an integral part of AR technology, and as of now, it is tough to get the accurate location of user’s device. This further hinders users from engaging in a seamless AR experience.

It is quite a common analogy which we make that once upon time computers used to be as big as halls. And now, we hold them in our palms. Such is the case with AR lenses and other hardware devices. Though they are bulky and hard to use and carry right now, developers are already working on making them compact.

2. Multi-user

AR technology is still in its founding years. It is so new and so incredibly hard to implement that as of now it is just not possible for them to be for multiple users to enjoy at once. We socialize on every front, the rise of social media has driven the stakes through the roof. Now we play games online with our friends; Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo, all these devices are net-enabled and are multi-player gaming platforms. Game designers are earning a hefty amount by developing games which can exploit this power of these gaming devices. What this implies is that we live in a  world where it is necessary for every new equipment to support multi-player, especially for AR technology since it has such incredible potential in the gaming department.

Developers need to come up with ways to make that happen for their users; as the technology evolves and people get more and more handy with AR technology, they are going to demand multiplayer experience from them.

There is a lot of work being done in this direction already. Invisible Train, a game developed by the Institute of Computer Graphics and Vision at Graz University of Technology, supports up to four players to play in multi-player mode.

3. Software

Apart from hardware issues, developers are facing software issues in AR  as well. The problem is that this technology is so new that there are no universal ways of achieving it. Every new device which comes in the market has a different platform and kit for AR development. So developers are forced to develop their projects for just one device at a time or learn multiple kits if they want it to available on multiple platforms.

Apple’s ARKit and Google ARCore, are two of the biggest names in the AR market right now. But both of them are very new, and it is not possible to tell which one is superior or the solutions they provide are the best ones

Furthermore, the lack of social media sharing feature in AR browsers is something developers will need to overcome as well.

4. Legal issues

Since AR technology is still a relative infant in the market, legal guidelines are nothing but a blur as of now. But in the future, many legal problems can spring up. For instance, copyright and ownership issues have been fervently debated by legal professional. Who owns the rights of the data being superimposed on a user’s surroundings? Furthermore, developers can engage in a legal conflict with landmark owners and governments over copyright issues for the content being superimposed since it is on their property.

While Pokemon go was exciting and fun, it claimed many lives. This poses another legal conflict between the developers and legal authorities, is AR safe? In coming times, developers and companies might have to come up with tactics to prevent this from happening. Furthermore, it appears that various governments might be forced to install some legal guidelines to ensure the safety of AR users.

What developers do is create AR content and then make it available to users. But when a new idea comes,  who will own its copyright- the company? Or will it be open to being exploited? This front is also prone to becoming entangled in legal matters as well.

Conclusion

Even though AR technology is very new, it is growing at a rapid rate. Apps like Knightfall, VirTry, Quiver, Pokemon Go, etc have been huge success stories and show a promising future ahead for the AR market.  

Soon, this technology will take over our daily lives. Furthermore, aside from gaming and other common uses, AR has a lot of potential in medical sciences, astronomy, scientific and military exploits, and many other such fields. When all of this is put together, it is clear to see that AR and VR are the next big thing and we can expect great and exciting things in the near future.

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