How to create Augmented Reality experiences without coding
Lens Studio, Spark AR

How to create Augmented Reality experiences without coding

By Alex

I would like to share with you my personal knowledge and opinion on how you can create own Proof of Concept (POC) for your future AR app or experience. Since I’m a big fan of bootstrapping, my recommendations might help you to minimize risks and create something quickly.

Augmented Reality Builders and Editor

If you are looking for a way how to test and validate your AR idea, you can definitely try creating different AR through Augmented Reality builders and editors. The benefit of this approach is that you don’t need to have any coding skills. Especially now, when some builders and editors provide a chance to create different AR experiences, such as:

  • Marker based AR. Allows you to add additional AR digital content to the target image, such as: images, buttons, videos, 3D objects and animation. To discover AR content users have to download the app and scan markers (target image).

This case is perfect if you want to create PoC for labels (food & drinks), magazines & books, tickets, business cards, etc. Actually, everything that is printed can work as a marker based AR. Most of all, brands are using this type of AR to initialize purchase of their products.

  • Markerless (ARKit, ARCore, S.L.A.M). These technologies have recently been launched by Apple and Google with the intention of removing the need for users to scan markers (target images) and as such, they can discover AR content directly on surfaces. Actually, some platforms allow to use triggers to unlock ARKit and ARCore experiences.

This type of Augmented Reality experiences work perfectly for any use case, but mostly suitable for furniture, architecture and entertainment.

  • Lenses and masks. I hope everybody knows that Lens Studio by Snapchat and SparkAR by Facebook allows creating your own Augmented Reality lenses, filters and masks. Surely, it requires some basic knowledge and understanding of UX, 3D and animation. However, I think this is a very good opportunity to start your own side-project or release Proof of Concept (POC).

Masks and lenses have very good user adoption unlike marker based AR. In addition, lots of brands are using this type of AR to get customer engagement. Take for example Taco Bell Lens, that achieved remarkable results: Total plays: 45M+, Total views: 224M+

So, if your goal is to validate some of your Augmented Reality ideas, get user feedback and make some pre-launch, I think editors will work perfectly well for you. Editors and builders can help you to minimize risks, protect your wallet and make something really fast.

Discover more AR editors and builders in our directory

usdz Format

Also guys, don’t forget about new usdz format that is now supported by iOS Safari browser. The major advantage to it is that there’s no need to learn code and spend time to develop your own app. All you need is to prepare the usdz file and upload it to your hosting / server allowing users to open your link in Safari browser. As a result, users will be able to discover your AR experience directly in a browser (no app needed) through ARkit Apple technology.

Learn more about usdz

I’m not sure if you’ve got a chance to check Project Aero by Adobe, but they allow designers to create AR content using common tools they are familiar with, such as Adobe Photoshop CC and Dimension CC. What’s more, designers and makers can export their work into usdz file.

Link to Project Aero official website

In addition, if you don’t want to bother with hosting and server for usdz files, some of AR Builders and Editors allow you to create AR experiences. They also provide an ability to use different digital content, such as videos, buttons, 3D and animations, then convert an entire AR scene into usdz format and host it on their server and website.

ROAR allows you to create usdz based AR

Vectary has its own builder where you can upload content and convert it into usdz

And regarding AR content...

From my side, I would also recommend you to invest money and/or time into creation of high quality Augmented Reality content. This step will definitely help you to get more engagement from your potential users or customers as well as attract attention among media outlets. Here’s an example - AR studio based in London, guys from MIMIC have made 3D model of OFF WHITE sneakers with very low level details.

Hope that you liked my post and you found some useful information for you. I would appreciate if you could share this post on your social media or drop a link to your friends.