How Much Does Augmented Reality Cost? (Everything You Need to Know to Get Started)

by | Mar 19, 2020

Augmented reality is all the rage nowadays and it shows absolutely no sign of slowing down any time soon. In this post I’m going to be sharing some helpful info on all things AR. Grab a snack and let’s dive in! 

App vs Web-Based

In estimating the total cost of AR, the first question you need to ask yourself is – do you want to use an app or go with a web-based solution?  Before you decide, let’s take a look at some of the benefits, costs and estimated time needed for both options: 

App Based AR

  • High up front and ongoing costs related to development and updates to apps
  • More custom interactions available
Cost: The cost of development for your own AR application depends largely on the complexity and what firm you decide to use. The average cost for an AR app developed by a large firm can cost upwards of $1,500,000, while a moderately sized firm charges, on average, $350,000. Pricing from a freelancer or startup can be as low as $75,000, but at that price you are likely to get something basic that uses obsolete AR technology. In other words… you get what you pay for. Time: It takes a minimum of three months to finish the initial draft and around six months before final version is ready for release. 

Web-Based AR

  • Seamlessly integrates into the website, no need to download anything
  • Reaches a bigger audience
  • Virtually no maintenance
  • Implementation in hours
Cost: Pricing for web-based AR is generally based on monthly website impressions on a per month basis. A big benefit to this pricing model is that you don’t have to take on the large development cost of an app. Small businesses can have the same caliber of technology as an enterprise level business. Time: With web-based AR, you can be up and running in as little as a few days up to six weeks depending on the amount of models you need… and whether or not you already have them in 3D.

3D Models

Another cost that needs to be factored in – is the cost of 3D model creation. Each product you want in AR has to first be converted to 3D. The cost of each model will depend on the complexity of the object, the detail that is required and whether or not it’s animated. For example: a low complexity model of a chair done by a freelancer may cost you $75, while a detailed diamond ring in a realistic quality can cost around $800. On average, a model will generally cost you around $300 each.  woman-wearing-red-and-black-checkered-blouse-using-macbook-1181472

Different uses for AR 

There are so many different use cases for AR and the costs may differ depending on what you will be using it for. Here is a list of some of the most popular uses, the benefits, and the companies already using it:

1. Retail 

With mobile shopping increasing in popularity more and more each year, it’s not surprising that many retailers have already jumped on the AR bandwagon.  Data from Gartner showed that by the start of this year, 100 million consumers will be using AR to shop both online and in store. Another Gartner survey stated that a whopping 46% of retailers planned to implement AR into their shopping experience before the start of this year.  Some of the benefits of AR for retailers include increased online conversion, decreased returns and higher order totals. Brands already taking advantage of these benefits include:
  • Overstock
  • IKEA
  • LEGO
  • Squatty Potty

2. Education 

The struggle is real when it comes to keeping kids focused during class, but what if you could show them exactly what a beating heart looks like, their favorite dinosaur or even how the moon orbits the earth? AR teaches in a way that, to kids – doesn’t actually feel like teaching…..It keeps them engaged better than computers and books ever could. Oh!…and it comes with the added benefit of an 8.8% increase on retained information. Win-win.   Seek is currently in beta testing with Seek Education, which will be a cross-platform Netflix-style content system that will unleash the power of AR for students all around the world.

3. Corporate Training

The benefits of using AR for corporate training are going to be pretty similar to the benefits mentioned above in the education section. We may be adults, but interactive experiences are always going to trump boring manuals and videos made in the 80’s. How powerful would it be to have life sized models of the equipment you work with always on hand in your phone so you can visualize them anywhere at any time? It makes training not only more fun, but more convenient too! Some companies whose employees are already enjoying this use case are:
  • Walmart
  • Bosch
  • Boeing
  • US Army

4. Field Sales 

One thing that has always been a struggle for companies that sell their products to retail stores was – how do you accurately visualize what a display would look like and would it actually fit???  Up until they started using AR, Nestle’s sales team would have to deal with the hassle of carrying in products and displays to see if they would fit in a grocery store or convenience store. Now they can fit all of their displays in their front pocket.
  • Nestle
  • Coca-Cola
1_p4R5mbWFMH12PQvG4FiSwQ With all the many ways AR can be used, it’s no wonder that it’s predicted to reach $35.22 Billion by 2022 – and like with most things in the tech industry, it’s better to be ahead of the curve than behind it. If you have further questions and would like to speak to an AR expert click here

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