2021/03/14 07:19:05 application

How to develop AR?

How to develop AR?

AR is still a new technology, so new technology is born every day. When developing, it is better to think that it is better to express what you want to do with AR instead of AR.

Three problems that people who develop AR apps for the first time tend to have and their solutions

Yuki Kobayashi / MESON COO
2019/07/31 10:08
I get a lot of questions like "I want to start developing AR from now on, but what should I start with?"

While I am very happy that the number of people who are paying attention to AR technology and are interested in multiplying what they are doing with AR is increasing, there are a certain number of people who have similar problems. I felt that there were a lot of them, so I decided to put together my own thoughts in a note so that I could help those people as much as possible.

This article is a note that introduces recommended study methods by answering three frequently asked questions for "people who want to start developing AR applications but do not know what to do".

Note) This article is the best method I think of as of July 2019, and it is thought that the method and what to learn will change over time. Please keep this in mind and read it.

table of contents
Which technology should I start with?
How do I learn how to develop?
How should I come up with an idea?
Which technology should I start with?
In recent years, the number of large companies and startups investing in AR has increased rapidly, and along with this, the number of SDKs and devices that can be used for AR development has also increased rapidly.

It's great for developers, but for those who are new to AR development, you may be wondering which tool to choose.

This time, I will omit the introduction of various devices and SDKs, but in conclusion I recommend starting with AR development using ARKit and Unity.

Below are three reasons why we recommend AR development using ARKit and Unity.

Easy to find development cases and development colleagues

After all, this is the number one reason. There are the most cases of AR development using ARKit and Unity among smartphone AR.

It's easy to find a solution on the Web or find someone to give you advice when you're stuck in developing something, and I think it's very easy to get started for those who are starting AR development from now on. ..

Start with a low budget

As an option other than smartphone AR for AR development, there is also the option of developing an AR application that runs on a glass-type device.

However, glass-type devices are still expensive at 200,000 to 300,000 yen, so people who are working on AR application development for the first time may feel that the barrier is a little high.

On the other hand, in the case of smartphone AR, there are many cases where you have it now. If you have an old iPhone or you do not have an iPhone and need to purchase an ARKit compatible iPhone, you will incur the cost of purchasing equipment, but if it is an iPhone, purchase it as a smartphone for everyday use You can do it, and I think you can start with a feeling like changing the model with this opportunity.

Even if you get tired of developing AR in the worst case, if you think that you have the latest iPhone, the financial burden will not be so great. For that reason, we recommend ARKit, which uses an iPhone as a starting point.

By the way, recently, a glass-type device called nreal ligth, which looks almost the same as sunglasses, has appeared in the 50,000 yen range, so there is an option to wait for the release of a device like this, but those who want to start development now I think ARKit x ​​Unity is good.

Note) nreal light will be released for developers in September 2019, and only Android can be connected.

Effective for future AR development

When developing iOS apps using ARKit, there is an option to develop using XCode in addition to Unity, but I recommend using Unity.

The reason is that I am good at working with 3D objects, and once I master Unity, I can apply it to development on other AR devices.

Originally XCode was introduced to develop 2D applications. Unity, on the other hand, is a game engine for creating 3D games. Therefore, Unity is better at handling 3D content such as AR.

Nowadays, Unity is adopted in most of these AR / VR developments. Hololens, Magicleap, and nreal light are all the first to release SDKs for Unity.

In this way, learning Unity will be a great strength when developing AR for other smartphones and device-type devices in the future.

・ ・ ・

These are the reasons why I recommend ARKit and Unity. By the way, if you don't have a Macbook and your smartphone is Android, I may recommend ARCore x Unity. This is because ARCore and ARKit have many functional similarities, and there are some developers who develop with ARCore.

I think it's a good idea to select that area in consideration of your wallet situation and development environment.

How do I learn how to develop?
Now let's see how to catch up with the information the next time you start developing with ARKit x ​​Unity.

To get started with development, you need to start by catching up with Unity itself.

The most recommended catch-up for Unity is Aimi Kitamura's "Unity Textbook".

Unity Textbook Unity 2019 Fully Compatible 2D & 3D Smartphone Game Introductory Course (Entertainment & IDEA)
4,960 yen
(November 25, 2020 20:53 Click here for details)
Purchase at
Aimi Kitamura has been publishing Unity textbooks since the time of Unity 5 with every major update of Unity.

It is easy for beginners to understand and easy to install, so it is highly recommended. I myself was really taken care of when Unity was a beginner.

I also recommend Aimi Kitamura's toy lab blog for catching up with ARKit x ​​Unity.

[Unity] ARKit Super Introductory Article Summary-Toy Lab
ARKit is an AR framework released by Apple in 2017. At that time, ARKit 1.0 could only recognize planes.
In this article, the procedure for creating a smartphone AR app with ARKit and Unity is carefully described from the setup.

Moreover, the functions added in ARKit2 and the development cases that utilize them have been updated recently, which is very useful as a hint when making something by yourself.

This toy lab blog also has a detailed summary of Unity's Shaders, so there's a lot to learn if you want to develop something more elaborate with Unity.

Getting Started with Unity Shaders to Master in 7 Days-Toy Lab
This article is a compilation of 40 Unity shader introductory articles that have been introduced in Toy Labs so far. If you read 5 articles a day, it will take 7 days
I've only introduced Aimi Kitamura for some reason, but her books and textbooks are really easy to understand even for beginners, so it is highly recommended for those who will start AR development using Unity from now on.

Information is also posted on Twitter, so if you are interested, please check Twitter as well.

Aimi Kitamura (@tasonco_company) | Twitter
The latest Tweets from Aimi Kitamura (@tasonco_company). "Unity Textbook" "S
How should I come up with an idea?
Once you are ready for development, you need to come up with ideas that utilize AR.

It's exciting to think of ideas, but if you make it without inputting anything, you'll end up with "that? Something different?" And you'll gradually lose track of what to make.

When I started to get involved in AR development, when I finished making it, it became something like "Why did you make something like this?", And when I often talk to people, it looks like the past. There were cases.

Here are three recommended learning methods for thinking about AR ideas.

Read AR textbooks

The first recommended input method is to read the "AR textbook". Here you can find detailed information about AR use cases that have been studied in the past from the technical explanation of AR.

AR textbook
4,378 yen
(May 13, 2020 16:36 Click here for details)
Purchase at
We recommend that you read this book first and input terms and knowledge related to AR technology.

In particular, learning what research has been done on AR technology in the past can prevent reinventing the wheel and at the same time apply past cases to generate new ideas.

In the past, "AR textbook reading session" was held on the cluster sponsored by Mr. Mercari. There is also a web page that summarizes the announcement videos and materials here, so if you are interested, please check this as well.

AR textbook round-reading session, slide materials, etc., summary link collection
Display search results for AR / VR / MR / xR related keywords every 15 minutes. The blog is a bonus.
Touch the existing AR app

It is also important to try out the smartphone AR app that has already been released in stores.

By touching the existing AR app, you can not only get a hint of ideas, but also experience "what kind of AR experience is interesting?" And "what kind of AR experience is comfortable?" With your own body.