Utilising Augmented Reality In Mobile & IOS Programming.

This article outlines the use of Augmented Reality in interactive application design & development. Author: Mark Butt.


While there’s nothing new about augmented reality as a technology, it is definitely becoming a highly sought after request when it comes to content & application design. AR is making waves in the mobile development community as more and more programmers utilise AR as the interactive weapon of choice. For the uninitiated, augmented reality (AR) is technology that blurs the line between computing environments and the real world. Not to be confused with virtual reality where a user is fully immersed into a virtual world, AR is primarily creating an environment that emulates the real world. Imagine walking down the street with a pair of AR glasses on, and while you’re looking at landmarks in your town, links to a restaurant review on Yelp pop up, or there are suddenly characters that appear and begin interacting with you or your phone. This is essentially what AR is all about – augmenting the real world with virtual applications to enhance the real world & the user-experience.

It’s not surprising that augmented reality is being so heavily utilised in IOS  & mobile development. Mobile is clearly the hardware preference of choice when it comes to campaign planning and design for marketers and technologists. I-phone developers have hit the ground running in the IOS dev game. Why? Because Apple’s IOS-based gadgets are getting smarter by the day, transforming what was once a sluggish enterprise – augmented reality apps for IOS  – into lightning fast, “smart” application environments.

IOS Programmers are wasting no time at all jumping on the AR bandwagon. It shouldn’t surprise that the bulk of IOS-powered AR apps are of course games. As the IOS app world becomes more interactive, AR integration into iPhone gaming environments makes complete sense, but it doesn’t stop there. Business and e-Commerce app developers are making use of the AR phenomenon. Realty companies and user-generated review app developers are using AR to create a more active and engaged environment. The bottom line is that AR is opening an exciting, unchartered app market for IOS designers & developers.


Getting to the Bottom of the New Age of IOS Augmented Reality Programming.
The big question is, what exactly sparked this transformation? Well, technically speaking vibrational gyroscopes. Since Apple started putting them in the iPhone 4, a whole new world has opened up to IOS app developers everywhere. For the uninitiated, the vibrational gyroscope tells your iPhone which way is up, down, left and right. The gyroscope phenomenon coupled with a built-in GPS and a compass, and you have all the right ingredients to make powerful augmented reality apps for many creative industries and applications.


 Five Cool Augmented Reality Apps That You May Not Know About:

 1. Wikitude – The big idea behind Wikitude is fairly simple. It uses your phones gyroscope, compass and GPS to point you to relevant Wikipedia entries for nearby landmarks and locations. It makes sense why the developer refers to the app as the “world browser.” You simply open the app, hold your phone up in the air, and watch as nearby Wikipedia entries populate your screen. Naturally, the app works best in big cities with lots of famous points of interest. But you just may surprise yourself with what you don’t know about your hometown.


2.Spyglass – Spyglass is an augmented reality app built specifically for geeks. It’s essentially  a                                      compass, GPS and rangefinder all rolled up into one. The app gives you more detailed compass                    readings than anyone would ever need. You can check the exact location of the sun and moon, and      you can also  check the incline on a steep hike.

3. ZipReality – ZipRealty is quickly becoming the premieir augmented reality IOS  app for real estate. According to, ZipReality has over a million listed homes for sale in upwards of 25 different major markets. Through the app’s homescan feature, you can get info on homes for sale in real time as you’re strolling through your favourite neighbourhood.


4. MetroAR – MetroAR is a Godsend for hipsters who rely heavily on public transportation in major cities all over the world. The app’s purpose is simple but incredibly useful. It helps you find all the nearest public transportation stops in your city.


5. Yelp –You’ve probably heard of Yelp. But it’s likely you aren’t using the app’s augmented reality features. All you have to do is open the app, tap on the “monacle” feature, and nearby restaurants and businesses will appear on virtual floating business listings with ratings and their approximate location.

What This Means for IOS Development:

As with anything to do with new technology or mobile, it comes down to proper planning/design & technical validation pre-production. But the big idea is that IOS technology is changing. iPhones are becoming smarter, and apps are expected to keep up. Since augmented reality is all the rage, it’s no secret that the iPhone app store will continue filling up quickly with apps boasting top of the line AR features throughout. One thing’s for sure, mobile developers will need to develop these capabilities in-order to stay competitive. We love AR for mobile, out of home & In-store.

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