AR development: Selection, challenges and practices

  • With an in-depth understanding of the features and advantages of various AR development platforms, developers can more efficiently develop high-quality AR apps that bring richer and more immersive experiences to users.
  • Overcoming technical challenges in AR development involves leveraging advanced technologies such as computer vision, machine learning, and sensor technology to enhance tracking, perception and interaction.
  • Developing quality AR applications entails thorough planning, design, development, optimisation based on user feedback, and effective launch strategies for user engagement.

Augmented Reality (AR) technology is gradually changing the way we interact with the digital world, bringing many new challenges and opportunities for developers. This blog will introduce AR development in terms of choosing an AR development platform, technical challenges and solutions, and the process of developing a quality AR application.

Also read: What is the difference between AR and VR technology?

Platform selection

Choosing the right AR development platform starts with a project needs analysis to assess the functional requirements of the project, target platforms and budgetary constraints, and to determine the desired AR functionality and performance requirements. Next, consider the technical background and familiarity of team members and choose a development platform that matches the team’s skills.

At the same time, focus on user experience and interaction design, and choose an AR development platform that can provide the best user experience. Finally, consider the future development direction and scalability of the project, and choose an AR development platform that can meet the long-term needs of the project.

ARKit is an AR development toolkit provided by Apple specifically for AR app development on iOS devices. ARCore, on the other hand, is an AR development platform launched by Google that supports AR app development on Android devices.

In addition, Unity3D and Unreal Engine are also commonly used AR development tools, which are cross-platform game engines that can also be used for AR app development.

Apple’s ARKit for iOS devices offers tighter hardware and software integration, while Google’s ARCore for Android devices reaches a wider user base.

Unity3D has wider community support and an easier-to-learn development environment for small teams or individual developers, while Unreal Engine has more powerful graphics rendering and visual effects for projects that require high-quality graphics.

Also read: 10 AR/VR tech companies shaping digital interactions

AR development

Technical challenges and solutions

Technical challenges are inevitable during AR development. These challenges involve tracking, perception, and interaction. Firstly, tracking is one of the most essential functions in AR applications and involves accurately tracking the position and orientation of objects in different scenes.

Secondly, perception is another important aspect that requires understanding and recognising the surrounding environment to better interact with the real world. Finally, interaction is one of the key elements, involving real-time interaction and feedback between the user and virtual objects.

To overcome these technical challenges, there are several solutions and strategies that developers can employ. For example, in tracking, advanced computer vision technologies such as visual-inertial odometry (VIO) and structured light can be utilised in combination with machine learning algorithms to improve tracking accuracy and stability.

In terms of perception, deep learning and neural network technologies can be used to construct an environment perception model to achieve real-time understanding and recognition of the real world.

In terms of interaction, sensor technologies and machine learning algorithms can be combined to develop efficient gesture recognition and touch interaction systems to provide a more natural and intuitive user experience.

For example, Snapchat uses AR technology to realise real-time object-based tracking, allowing users to add virtual objects and effects to the real world, providing a richer and more immersive experience.

IKEA uses AR technology to develop the IKEA Place app, which allows users to preview the placement of furniture at home on their mobile phones or tablets, enabling real-time perception and recognition of the real world. Pokémon Go utilises AR technology and location services to allow users to capture and train elves in the real world, providing a rich interactive experience.

Developing quality AR applications

1. Requirements analysis and planning

Before developing an AR application, it is important to conduct a thorough analysis of project requirements and create a detailed development plan and roadmap. The key steps in this phase include requirements gathering, goal setting, and developing a plan.

The requirements-gathering phase involves working closely with the client or project leader to gain an in-depth understanding of the project’s needs and goals. Then, the goals and expected outcomes of the project are clarified and measurable objectives are set. Finally, a detailed development plan and project roadmap are created to ensure that the development team is working in the same direction.

2. Design and prototyping

The development team will design the user interface, interaction flow and functional modules of the application based on the results of the requirements’ analysis. Interaction prototypes will be made to verify the design scheme and functional requirements to ensure the feasibility and friendliness of the user experience.

For interface design, focus on designing a simple and clear user interface to ensure that it is easy for users to understand and operate. In terms of interaction design, it is important to design a smooth and natural interaction flow and operation to reduce the cognitive burden on users. Making interaction prototypes can be used to verify the design scheme and functional requirements, thus reducing the subsequent development costs and risks.

3. Development and testing

According to the design documents and prototypes, the coding development and functional implementation of the application are carried out. Testing and debugging are also performed to ensure the quality and stability of the application.

For coding development, the application should be coded and implemented according to the design documents and functional requirements. Functional testing is performed to verify that the functionality of the application meets the requirements. Performance optimisation is to optimise the performance and response speed of the application to improve user experience and application stability.

4. Optimisation and iteration

Continuously pay attention to user feedback and market changes, optimise and improve the application, and continuously iterate and update to enhance user experience and application performance.

A good user feedback mechanism should be established to collect user feedback and opinions and understand user needs and expectations. In terms of continuous optimisation, the application should be optimised and improved based on user feedback and test results to enhance user experience and application performance. Iterative updating: We should continue to iterate and update the application version, introduce new features and fix defects to maintain the competitiveness and attractiveness of the application.

5. Launch and promotion

After the app passes testing and reaches the expected quality level, prepare to release it to the app shop or other platforms to go live. At the same time, conduct effective promotion and marketing to attract users to download and use the app.

It is important to submit the app to the appropriate app shop or platform to ensure that it meets its review criteria and requirements. For promotion and marketing, effective promotion and marketing strategies should be formulated, including social media publicity, advertising and co-operation to attract users to download and use the app.


Yun Zhao

Yun Zhao is a junior writer at BTW Media. She graduates from the Zhejiang University of Financial and Economics and majors in English. Send tips to

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