Jump to content
  • Advertisement
Sign in to follow this  
  • entries
    12
  • comments
    0
  • views
    459

Design is the only thing holding mobile AR back

Sign in to follow this  
8thWallDev

30 views

1*FRhcqxCkOeo8yIHquMsm1A.jpeg

Written by Erik-Murphy Chutorian, Founder and CEO of 8th Wall.
This story was previously published on
The Next Web.

This year will be the year that we see the first applications designed for an AR-powered, mobile camera-first world. I’ve heard many discussions about how to accelerate AR development and adoption, but will everyone’s panacea be the cloud? While I believe cloud services will be essential to AR’s success and play a big role in its evolution, contrary to popular belief, cloud isn’t the gating factor. In my view the roadblocks to AR adoption are around design, reach and instructing people how to rely on what AR can do.

Let’s take a step back and look at how interfaces have evolved. Computers have gained the ability to see and hear, and these virtual senses will usher in new era of natural user interfaces. Touchscreens will soon be on the way out, in the same way that the keyboard and mouse are now. I see the writing on the wall.

We snap photos instead of texting, ask Alexa for our news and weather and can e-shop by seeing how products fit in our homes. As environmental understanding becomes more sophisticated on our phones, I believe user interfaces will start to interact with that environment. However, the cell phone is an accidental user interface for AR, and as such, we have to bridge the form factor and experience with something that is familiar to how people already use their phones.

Not everyone will use the term ‘AR’ to describe what is going on, but I trust that 2018 will be the year consumers experience AR and it’s going to happen on their mobile phone. The best part of mobile AR? There’s nothing to strap on your face — just hold up a phone and open an app. Before we give up our touchscreens, much more will need to happen and contrary to previous discussion in the industry, a lack of specialized cloud services is not what’s holding back the transition to these camera-centric AR apps.

The big hurdle to overcome is getting acclimated to designing with the perspective of AR as the first medium, as opposed to a secondary or add-on channel or feature. AR-first design will be key to creating successful everyday apps for new, natural types of user interaction.

How did we get to mobile AR?

The hype around Mobile AR began last September when Apple launched ARKit, now one of a handful of new software libraries that allow mobile developers to add augmented reality features to standard phone apps. These libraries offer virtual sensors that provide information about the environment and precisely how a phone is moving through it.

For mobile developers, it means an opportunity to be first to design and build new intuitive user experiences that can disrupt how we interact with our phones. In the same way that desktop websites were redesigned for a mobile-first world, we will soon see that camera-enabled physical interactions become the norm for interacting with many types of apps, including ecommerce, communication, enterprise, and gaming.

Where are the killer apps?

People use their phones for email, news, communication, entertainment, shopping, navigation, gaming, and photography. Mobile AR isn’t going to change that. More likely, many of the killer AR apps will be very same apps we already use today afterthey have redesigned for AR. Companies that are slow to embrace this technology will be ripe for disruption. It’s happening already.

Snapchat was first into the AR space and redefined how a younger generation communicates. Facebook and Google followed suit, and now Amazon, IKEA, Wayfair, and others are dipping their toes into the pool of AR. Niantic recently acquired a new AR start-up too, can we hope to see the physical world merge with the Wizarding world? What startups will innovate where the incumbents are slow to change? Will 2018 bring us a successor to maps, email, or photos?

The AR Cloud is not the missing piece

Modern apps rely on internet connectivity, big data, and location to round out their functionality. AR apps are no different in this respect, and in the same way we use Waze and Yelp to provide local, crowdsourced information about our environment, we will continue to do so when these apps are rebuilt for AR-first design.

In today’s tech-speak, the ‘AR Cloud’ is a set of backend services built to support AR features like persistence and multiplayer. These services consist of distributed databases, search engines, and algorithms for computer vision and machine learning. Most are well-scoped engineering projects and their success will be in their speed of delivery and quality of execution.

Technology behemoths and AR startups are competing to build these cloud services, with some of the heavily invested players going so far as to say “Apple’s ARKit is almost useless without the AR Cloud.” In contrast, the reality is quite the opposite. A single, well-designed AR mobile app can succeed immediately, but AR Cloud solutions can’t gain traction until enough top mobile apps are designed for AR. Ensuring that happens quickly is critical to their success.

AR is limited today by a lack of design principles

We need to think about how to design for mobile AR and specifically mobile apps for this new camera-first world. How do we break away from swipes, 2D-menus and the like, now that we can track precisely and annotate real objects in the world? AR technology has created an entirely new set of options for how we can interact with our phones, and from this we need to design AR interactions.

To better understand how we should think about AR-first design, my team and I recently conducted an AR User Study to understand peoples’ experiences with the first crop of mobile AR apps. This resulted in the following AR interaction guidelines, which are by no means an exhaustive list:

  • Prefer curvilinear selection for pointing and grabbing. By using a gentle arc instead of a straight line, people can select distant objects without their cursor jumping as it gets nearer to the horizon.
  • Keep AR touch interactions simple. Limit gestures to simple one-hand operations, since one hand is dedicated to holding and moving the phone.
  • Avoid Dwell clicking, e.g., hovering on a selected object for a period of time, as this selection mechanism is slow and generally leads to unintended actions.
  • Initialize virtual objects immediately. People expect AR apps to work seamlessly, and the surface calibration step found in many ARKit apps is an interaction that breaks the flow of the application.
  • Ensure reliability. Virtual objects should appear in consistent locations, and being able to accurately select, move and tether objects is important if these interactions are provided.
  • AR apps need to balance fixed on-screen UI with in-context AR UI. Users shouldn’t need to “hunt” for UI elements in their environment.
1*KwTvvu8aJ8QL822tAd8RpQ.png

Before we can capitalize on cloud features for AR, we need to determine how to implement these and other guidelines into a uniform set of user interactions that are natural and fluid.

Looking forward to the year of mobile AR

I feel strongly that 2018 will be the year that we see the first applications designed for an AR-powered, camera-first world. The first developers to build them have a strong first-mover advantage on the next generation of applications, communication platforms, and games. I believe cloud services will be essential to this success and play a big role in its evolution, but my view is that other challenges remain around design, reach and instructing people how to rely on this new technology.

In the true tradition of mobile technology, it won’t take long before new startups and tech behemoths defy what everyone once thought was or was not possible in this space. It’s not an AR Cloud or a killer new use case that will make AR successful. My take is that AR-first design, where we prioritize the AR experience over traditional 2D interfaces, will be the key to unlocking mobile AR. The first developers to build these apps will have a strong first-mover advantage on the next generation of applications, communication platforms, and games.

stat?event=post.clientViewed&referrerSource=full_rss&postId=56ccb3741a96

Design is the only thing holding mobile AR back was originally published in 8th Wall on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


View the full article

Sign in to follow this  


0 Comments


Recommended Comments

There are no comments to display.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Advertisement
  • Advertisement
  • Blog Entries

  • Similar Content

    • By GameDev.net
      Building your free-to-play game is just one piece of the puzzle. You still face the problem that’s plagued everything on the app store since its inception in 2009: How do you get paid? Monetization in the mobile market has gotten better since those digital wild west days, but how it is being done evolves quicker than it’ll take you to finish reading this piece.
      Put simply, there are some big trends to track in the mobile ad space, right now: Real-Time Bidding (RTB) and app-ads.txt — to name a few. But to see where things are headed, you also need to take a quick look back.

      A developer creates their perfect ad server
      In 2009, some apps were $50. Others sold for 99 cents. There were no best practices, just lots of experimentation. A developer — one of the earliest on the App store — realized that it’s really hard to advertise your app if you’re not featured. JRBO understood the real life need for a performance ad network and monetization tool that works well. So, after some tinkering, the team created an ad server for their own games. That offshoot project did so well, it spun out a whole new company: AdColony.
      Since then, AdColony has pioneered a number of technologies and approaches to the market that have earned them trust with developers and advertisers, alike.
      “‘How are we going to port this premium console game to mobile?’ is the question we had to quickly ask ourselves,” says ForwardXP CEO, Steve Nix. “Guilt Battle Arena came out on Switch, Xbox One, PC, and PS4 in 2018 and we thought having a free to play version would be a better route. When we started thinking of monetization partners, AdColony immediately came to mind. They put a lot of effort into their SDK over the years.” Nix continued, “There are a lot of great tools in their SDK and a lot of great ways to optimize your monetization.”

      “In fact,” Nix adds, “Any competent game developer with familiarity in Unity, iOS or Android can implement the SDK without any real problems.”
      Grab the latest version from AdColony’s SDK page. SDK downloads are on the AdColony Github — where you can also find samples and documentation. Brian Truman Executive Director, Digital Ad Revenue and Operations at GSN Games adds, “AdColony’s technology has always been pretty solid. Five years ago, when we first started working with them - it was a no-brainer if you were putting ads in an app. Other developments have come along as well as other solid competitors, but I’ve always felt good about working with AdColony. They have people that know what they are doing, keep investing in their platform, and they continue to push the mobile ads industry forward.”

      Trend 1: An eye on Real-Time Bidding
      RTB monitor media solutions is one of those big pushes you’re going to see in the next six to 12 months.  Its unrealistic to expect AdColony — or any single network — to be on the only SDK in most apps. It does happen occasionally, but most people are going to want a few different options. After all, if you’re selling something on eBay, you don’t want just one bidder in on the action. So you integrate a mediation partner.
      Here’s where things will dramatically change. Up to now, mobile has seen a waterfall setting for the bidding of ad inventory. Let’s just take an example here: You got three networks bidding and the app developer’s saying they want to sell this view for $2 at a minimum. Instead of going to everyone at once, “Hey what have you got for at least $2?” they’ll go to waterfall auction one, first. The bid is below the threshold, so the developer moves to the second bid that just so happens to be at $2.25. Great, but what about number three’s bid for a $6 ad? That request never makes it down because bidder two hit the baseline. With RTB (sometimes called advanced mediation) everybody gets a bid, happening in real time.
      “With RTB, it becomes much more efficient.” Truman adds.“It also provides a more competitive environment where all the networks have bids for every impression. We started testing with AdColony late last year — one of the early adopters of this technology. Them, along with Facebook, have been really out front with this.”
      RTB is the best way for advertisers and brands to reach more devices. An added bonus is that it will increase transparency for who will be delivering the best value for monetization. Needless to say, moving to RTB is really important. Sit on the sidelines too long and publishers will start seeing non-RTB traffic dwindle and get much lower quality ads over time.

      Trend 2: Third party authentication with app-ads.txt
      The other important trend to watch is the implementation of app-ads.txt. This has been a long-time standard for the web, designed to check that someone selling inventory on a site has permissions to do just that. The IAB released their standards in March for app-ads.txt. So publishers who are using monetization platforms that don’t support app-ads.txt are going to see a huge drop in demand. It’s going to take a while to be ramped up before that comes to a head — 2020, by some estimates. That said, there is no reason to delay making the change. It’s a low-effort switch that unlocks a lot of revenue for you in the future.
      AdColony’s SDK has that support planned on the near-term roadmap. Better still, the SDK provides OTA updates for some features - and this change is one of those things that will soon get automatically baked into what people are already using.
      Taking advantage of AdColony’s $5 million AMP fund
      As you continue eyeing the ever-moving goal posts in mobile monetization, AdColony recently announced a $5 Million Advanced Monetization Program (AMP) to give a taste of what the SDK and tools can do for your apps. The program is aimed squarely at incentivizing publishers, offering 100 percent revenue share for 90 days, a 15 percent user acquisition credit, and up to 10 percent bonus on first position waterfall deals to those who participate.
      “I hope that developers take advantage of it,” says Truman. “What makes it really appealing is that there are some acknowledged risks when you’re an app developer and you’re going to spend time to integrate an SDK. That may mean you have to choose between a network you’re familiar with, so there’s an opportunity cost. The AMP fund mitigates that cost and perhaps give some additional benefits if it works out for the developer.”
      The other thing to consider is the experience you get working with any ad network. Truman says that AdColony “has some unique tools and settings in an easy-to-use dashboard compared to other networks out there.”
      So far, AMP has attracted a huge influx of people - groups that are both large and small. The goal, quite frankly, is to make that decision to monetize a whole lot easier.
      Nix adds, “We don’t have a lot of development budget to optimize our game for free play and if there’s something available to help maximize revenue from the game through AdColony’s platform, even better.”
      If you’d like to learn how to sign up for the AMP fund, read this story on the AdColony blog.
       
    • By TreektusPL
      Hi all.
      Today I have published my second game for mobile devices.
      Swipe, Stop is a kind of super addictive puzzle game. The game contains over 200 unique levels. Try to find the best way to complete each level. Every level is possible to solve.
      Yet not everyone can do it! Do you think you can do it?
      Currently, the game is available on google play.
      Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.Worthout.SwipeStop
      Any feedback will be appreciated.


    • By TotoGuau
      Hello friends Well for a long time I wanted to create a game or mobile application because I have basic knowledge about programming but I have never had an idea in particular so I come to ask any creative mind to help you see this post to help me decide what to do. It's my first post so I do not know if there are rules for this and if there are any, let me know. Goodbye
    • By Pasarel Studios
      Hello , my name Is Alex and I am 17 years old Android game developer newbie. Today I want to share my first game project and I want your feedback ,even it is bad or good everything is appreciated,for this demo you only have 6 levels , enjoy! (Demo attached).Thank you for passing by and have a Nice Day!
      Contact me on : instagram : @pasarel.studios_
                                 Patreon : PasarelStudios (I only created a patreon because I dont have money to pay the Google Play store fee)




      BucketSplashV1.2.0.5.apk
    • By David.jones
      Hey guys!!
      Thanks for stopping by and I appreciate the look and potential advice! As the title says I really want to make a dream come true by being able to create and put out a game for the phone or pc!
      I've always had a love got games and i really got into them when i first started playing mmorpg on the PC. WoW was an inspiration and the many games that came after it. Ever since the beginning of my gaming life I've always thought  about " how cool would it be to create  a game for people to enjoy?". I've played many and everyone of themhad its ups, downs, uniqueness and similarities. 
      I have ideas and I think I am a good creative writer, but lack the skills on programming and art work ( I doubt a game of stick figures would go well for me) so I am looking for help on where to go, who would like to help and explore my brain and give me some advice. I am looking into coding because I would like to learn, but dont think that would be my role. 
      Any advice would be welcome! My dream is to have a successful mmmorpg mobile game or maybe even a PC game like WoW or so many other fantastic mmorpgs. 
      So I guess my question would be " where should I start?" I thinking learning code would be a good start even if i dont think it would be my role in a team.  Any suggestions would help
      Thanks again for the read I hope to explore and learn more with you guys!
  • Advertisement
×

Important Information

By using GameDev.net, you agree to our community Guidelines, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy.

GameDev.net is your game development community. Create an account for your GameDev Portfolio and participate in the largest developer community in the games industry.

Sign me up!