How to choose an augmented reality app developer

Eva Triantafillopoulou

A complete guide with tips on how to choose the ideal augmented reality app developer for your project.

You’ve decided to incorporate an AR application as part of your digital strategy but don’t have the skills in house to bring the project to life. If looking for an app development partner is your next step, this blog post will help you achieve that. 

1. Define your AR project

Having a clearly defined AR project plan will make communicating and negotiating with your development partner candidates much easier.

Know the main idea behind your AR project and its core functionality.

If you take the time to properly plan your AR project, the chances of hiring a compatible and capable developer are much higher, and the development process itself and final AR project results should be much better. 

If you would like to have a more thorough outline of what you want for your AR project before contacting potential AR development partners, we suggest following the 7 steps contained in this article: How to start your augmented reality project: strategic planning and tips to succeed.

However, if you prefer to plan your AR project with the development partner from the get-go, we recommend having, at least, a few videos and/or links to provide as a reference so you can get the conversation going. Oftentimes, AR developers are willing to help with the creative process, by providing ideas, inspiration and sharing other examples currently available on the market.

2. Cost estimation x budget

Budget discussions should start early on in the AR app planning process, but it’s in the development phase when things transition from rough estimations to the real deal.

The complexity of your app will determine its cost estimation.

As with all else, different developers come at different prices. However, there is one common factor you can expect with certainty:

AR apps, as with other app types, vary greatly in development price. Expect a starting point of around 10 thousand euros. And depending on app complexity, that number could go as high as 300 thousand euros. 

If you have a fixed pre-established budget, inform your development partner candidates so they can state what can and cannot be done in that price range. If budget is not a limitation for your project, simply explain what you want to receive a price quote from the developer.

3. Market vertical expertise

Maybe your AR app will be used for a marketing campaign or is intended to be the next big gaming experience, or it has the purpose to help educate people or optimize processes in industrial maintenance. Naturally, these experiences can be quite different from one another even though they share the same technical background. 

Does your developer candidate have experience in the app category you have chosen?

Check the portfolio of the candidates, search the app stores to find and download other projects they have created, and analyze your findings to see if the quality standards and technology capabilities match your expectations and requirements.

Keep in mind, however, that even though having experience in a certain area is a clear plus, it is not necessarily a deal-breaker. If the overall quality of the developer projects across different categories is high, that could be a sign that they are capable of delivering even in uncharted territory. 

Speak openly with the candidates, ask how comfortable they feel with the type of project you wish to create and use your best judgment from there. 

Regardless of the app category though, it is wise to verify if your AR developer candidate has previous experience with augmented reality technology.

4. Experience with augmented reality technology

AR development requires an additional set of specialized skills that go beyond the traditional app creation process. 

Hire a development partner that knows how to work with AR developing platforms.

To avoid unnecessary negative surprises in AR app results, it is essential that you choose a development partner that has had previous developing contact with AR technology and feels comfortable delivering the precise experience you wish to create.

Ask not only to see previous augmented reality projects of their authoring, but also about the AR tools they work with, how many devices the AR experience will be compatible with (which varies depending on the AR SDK of choice – Wikitude offering the most expansive support on the market), which augmented reality features they can create and any other specifics related to your AR project.

5. Location of the augmented reality app developer

From our experience in pairing clients with the appropriate AR developers (more on that on item 6), we noticed that a few elements usually come to light before the final decision: location, language, business culture, and timezone (for availability reasons).

The world is your oyster: choose locally or overseas.

If some of the items above are important to you, we recommend searching for your AR development partner using a geographical division as shown below:

Keep in mind, however, that with today’s globalized facilities in communication, you are not restricted to having to hire locally. If the elements mentioned above are not a limiting factor sometimes the best fit for your project is located halfway across the globe. If it seems to be the right fit, go for it no matter the distance.

6. Reliability

To the unguided searcher, the quest for an AR development partner may seem overwhelming. But, we can help.

Work with an AR developer you can trust.

As AR technology providers dedicated to offering the best AR tools on the market, we do not develop apps ourselves. However, we do keep a list of trusted AR app developers that have successful experience with creating AR apps using the Wikitude AR SDK

We call them Wikitude Premium Partners.

Not all Wikitude clients are Premium Partners, after all, we have more 130.000 registered developers that use our augmented reality technology. But all Wikitude Premium Partners are highly qualified AR app developers with proven AR experience.

When searching beyond our recommended AR app developers, make sure to investigate if your candidate is reliable by checking ratings, reviews and investigating their portfolio and client network.

Without a doubt, choosing the right developer or development firm is a critical aspect of your AR project. 

If you would like to skip the search altogether contact the Wikitude team, tell us about your project and requirements and we will be happy to pair you with potential augmented reality app developers and agencies within our Premium Partner program.

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