In consumer applications, I think the most crucial part of the design is going to be how well the AR UI meshes with the real world. The fun of AR is seeing the world around us come alive in a fun and realistic way. An AR experience that doesn’t work well or isn’t integrated into the real world will be quickly ignored by people.
What advice do you have for designers who want to start designing for AR?
BG: Before designing any AR experience, it’s really important for a designer to understand what is and isn’t possible given today’s technology. It’s very easy to fall into the trap of dreaming up pie-in-the-sky AR experiences that, given the current platforms and technology, just aren’t easily built.
To help understand the practical limits of today’s technology, I encourage designers to try out as many AR apps and games as they can: Go out and play Pokemon Go!; get your hands on a new Google Glass X and see what types of experiences other people have built; talk to a mobile developer and listen to them to get an idea of the advantages and disadvantages of each platform in regards to AR.
Which platform is the easiest to design/build AR apps for?
BG: At this point, iOS is definitely the place to be for creating AR experiences. Like I mentioned before, Apple’s ARKit really lowers the entry barriers for a mobile developer to start integrating AR experiences.
Whereas, a developer would previously need to have integrated a variety of open-source tools ━ some of which don’t work so well ━ to get even the most basic AR capabilities, Apple’s ARKit provides a well-designed foundational toolkit that takes care of a lot of the baseline challenges faced when creating an AR-enabled app. Apple’s ARKit signifies Apple’s commitment to the paradigm, and while it is still a young framework, I fully expect its capabilities to continue to grow with each new iteration of the operating system.