Dev to Dev

How to start your AR project: planning and tips to succeed

Augmented reality has been complementing campaigns and digital solutions across multiple sectors of the market. From assisting Nissan dealerships with product visualization and sales to telling the stories of Jack Daniel’s and its whiskey, AR truly has a versatile nature. How to get the AR strategic planning right?

If you are interested in creating your first (or next) AR app, it is crucial to keep in mind a popular, yet meaningful quote by Benjamin Franklin: 

“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”

In the app development world, having a clear roadmap for strategic planning is essential. That’s the right way to get the ball rolling and to hold yourself and your team accountable. 

Continue reading to explore 8 steps that will help you get your AR project planning started on the right foot.

Strategic planning and tips for your AR project 

1. Outline the concept and app objective

This step sounds a little obvious; however, it is essential to pinpoint your objective so that efforts can become laser-focused and aligned throughout the team.

What are you creating, and why?

When defining your concept, think about the purpose of the app; how it will be attractive and useful for the end-user; how your business will benefit from it; does the AR app solve a problem? How? Be specific about your vision.

Keep in mind that in the AR app world, sometimes it is not about solving an end-user issue (even though it often is: see augmented reality sewing patterns). The project objective could also be, for example, about achieving a marketing strategy by engaging the user through entertainment (see Ellen DeGeneres’ TV game show AR app) or providing much more than expected from a product (see augmented reality stickers by Mardles).

By the end of this step, you should have written down the main idea behind the project and its core functionality in a clear and concise matter.

2. Define your audience

Defining your audience is very much aligned with the step above, yet, those who take the time to properly explore this step typically experience more success regarding user experience, content, and outreach.

Who is your target base?

Is the AR project designed for a specific age group? A broader audience? Company employees of different backgrounds? Once you clearly define your audience (country, age, gender, area of interest, etc.), take the time to research how to reach and keep your specific target group interested and engaged.

As an example, let’s take a case from the toymaker Spin Master. Knowing that their target group – kids – are, nowadays, so connected to mobile devices, both for entertainment and gaming, they wanted to provide a fully immersive experience into the world of their Dragamonz toyline by extending the play with AR

Use this logic and your research abilities to better connect with and cater to your target audience.

3. Research market vertical

This step is an important one to gain knowledge and align your expectations by tracking the success rate of similar projects in your market segment (how fierce is this marketplace). It is also a great source of inspiration.

What has already been done, and how could you do it better?

Save yourself time by learning from the mistakes of your competitors – both the successful and unsuccessful ones. Check ratings and customer reviews, download similar apps to have the experience first hand, analyze the number of installs, find gaps in the market, and dig deeper whenever possible and relevant. 

The better the research, the better the outcome. Check for design characteristics, functionality, user workflows, and jot down any positive and negative aspects of each investigated app. Then, use that valuable (not to mention free) info to optimize your AR project in all fronts possible.

4. Define AR app features

At this point, you should have a clear vision of why and how you want your AR app to function. Regardless of whether your project is to be deployed on an existing app or a dedicated one, this is the moment to define which specific functionalities and AR features you wish to include.

What are the AR features that will better suit your project?

At this stage, keep in mind that as a developer, it is often easier to settle for what you know. And as a client, you probably don’t want to limit your possibilities. So, take the time to explore the AR tech you wish to work with to see if any of the technological advancements could be a better fit for your project. 

Access the links below to get inspired by what can and is being done in the AR world today:

Once you are up to date with new technology features and possibilities, define all the features you want your app to have and organize them by priority. 

5. Create a marketing strategy

It doesn’t matter how good your final project is if people don’t know about it. So make sure you have a plan to publicize your AR app.

How will you educate users about your new AR app?

Sadly, this step is often overseen and disregarded, but it could be the key element tied to leading your app into a successful path – or not.

Let’s take an example from a use case mentioned in the intro. One could imagine that a well-known brand like Jack Daniel’s wouldn’t need to focus much on marketing their launches, as the brand in itself would attract all the buzz automatically. Not the case. Even though JD would experience success of some sort without even trying, the company planned and acted out an efficient marketing strategy that began months before the launch of the AR app. The results? Thirty days after the official global Jack Daniel’s AR Experience app launch, 30.000+ iOS and Android users had watched over 110,000 ‘Jack Stories’ AR experiences with an average of 5:42 minutes of total session time per user.

So, whatever your budget is, include a detailed and efficient communication plan to let your target audience know about your AR app.

6. Analytics

Tracking data that is aligned with your project goals will, among other things, indicate what is working well, what needs to be improved, and ultimately measure the progress and success of your project goals.

Define the metrics and KPIs that are important for your AR project.

As you might already know, a KPI is a measurable value that demonstrates how effectively a project is achieving its objectives.

The mobile metrics to be tracked can be:

  • generic: downloads, registrations, crashes, upgrades, number of AR target scans;
  • related to engagement levels: sessions, social shares, active users;
  • revenue-focused: conversion rate, return of investment (ROI), in-app purchase;
  • user-experience-oriented: load time, devices used;
  • marketing-related: geo-metrics, demographics, keywords;
  • and, of course, reviews and ratings.

For an in-depth review, check this extensive list of 50+ detailed Mobile App KPIs.

As you can see, a lot can be tracked. Think outside the box, and if it is important for your project, track it.

7. Budget

Cross-examine what was defined in the steps above with the budget available for your project. Does your budget allow you to develop everything you have planned to include?

Align existing budget with the AR project plan.

Be realistic, and trim where needed. And remember that It is always possible to revisit, re-edit, and add along after the initial AR app launch.

If you are not too sure about cost estimates, the next step (and article) will give you further guidance. Just remember to make room for step 5 (promotional strategy) into your budget. 

8. Start the development process

By following the steps above, your AR project outline will be ready to be taken to the next exciting step that will bring your project to life: the development phase!

If you have in-house expertise, your team probably knows how to take it from here. If that is not your case, we have prepared a complete guide with tips on how to choose the ideal AR professionals for your project. Coming up on the Wikitude blog:

Can’t wait for the next blog to know more? Contact our team to get your AR project started today!


Augmented Reality Experiences for Museums: Three Success Stories

Wikitude Premium Partner, Wezit Transmedia Solutions, has been creating innovative digital experiences for the cultural, retail, and communications sectors since 2011. This article focuses on three successful AR apps the agency has created for French museums and cultural institutions. 

Continue reading to learn more about how augmented reality is playing a role in the museum user experience:

Living museum: botanical garden featuring augmented wildlife

AR technology is attracting new generations by bringing a touch of playfulness and innovation in the garden’s tour, consolidating brand awareness and appreciation.

The Jean-Marie Pelt Botanical Garden is one of the largest of its kind in France. The institution cultivates 12 000 plant species across 35 hectares of land and 2 500 m² of tropical greenhouses. Visitors come from all over the world to admire rare and endangered flora and extraordinary and unusual plants.

This living botanical museum, however, has a few new digital residents which are revealed during an innovative augmented reality tour. 

Application Jardin Botanique Grand Nancy

The augmented reality tours occur in the tropical greenhouses and include 20 interactive and educational games for kids and visitors of all ages. During the AR tour, digitally augmented animals seamlessly appear blending in with the garden premises, as seen below:

Each 3D animation is accompanied by a story and a purpose that complements the message that the botanical garden touring specialists want to tell. To enjoy the AR tours, visitors can either download the Jardin Botanique Grand Nancy app on their own devices (Android / iOS) or rent a tablet at the reception.

Digitalized Gauguin art with a detailed 360-degree view

A comprehensive art-exposition app includes augmented reality technology to integrate detailed 3D models, allowing users to observe art pieces up close as if they were in their hands.

The collaboration between Wikitude and Wezit started with the launch of an application for the RMN in Paris in 2016, entitled “Gauguin L’alchimiste”.  The exhibition, held from October 2017 to January 2018, examined the remarkable complementarity of Gauguin’s creations in the field of painting, sculpture, graphic and decorative arts. It emphasized the modernity of the artist’s creative process and his ability to continually push the limits of each medium. 

This exhibit combined a vast number of artworks, exposing Gauguin’s creations in different media, paintings, sculptures, graphics, as well as decorative arts.  

AR apps for museums: RMN

To gain a better understanding of Gauguin’s artistic approach, the Museum wanted to offer multiple digital tools for mediation, publishing, and communication, based in particular on a major 3D capture and modeling campaign.

AR apps for museum with 3D visualization

A total of thirty works of art were digitized with very high precision. For this task, the RMN referred to its own photography agency using an exact 3D scanning technique, allowing visitors to explore and appreciate Gauguin’s work from a different point of view, revealing many details of:  

  • 21 Ceramics and carved wood elements 
  • 11 Paintings  

The exhibition ended with an evocation of Gauguin’s hut – called Maison du Jouir. One hundred years ago, on May 8, 1903, Paul Gauguin died, isolated from the world in Atuona, in the Marquesas Islands. At the exhibition, visitors could see a hologram of the hut and his art pieces, as seen below:

Wezit Technical Director, François Roirand, says AR has the potential to create impactful experiences that remain in the memory of museum visitors, and he believes that  “a combination of the right code and the right data, painting, ceramics and other elements of the exhibit are easily identified, creating a user experience wow factor at their fingertips… This solution can be easily added creating a lasting memory in the visitor’s experience, these little “magical” things last in their minds, an app beyond the tangible…” 

Augmented content attached to modern robot-assisted art

Temporary art exhibition becomes timeless, allowing users to visit and revisit their artworks with the help of augmented reality technology.

An exhibit called ‘Artists and Robots’ held at the Paris Grand Palais in 2018 allowed visitors to experiment with the works created by artists with the help of robots. Augmented reality features were added to the visitor guide app to provide relevant content in an immersive, compelling, and innovative way.

By scanning an art installation, or the exhibition catalog, users get access to detailed information about the artists, their works, the exhibition, and more.

With the intention of helping visitors before, during, and even after the exhibition exploration, the AR guide app allows users to obtain information instantly. 

Apart from the free AR content and the possibility to learn more about the artists, artworks, and the entire exhibition itself, voyaging room by room, the visitor guide application also offers in-app-purchase options of audio-guided courses in French, English, or for children.

Robot Art Installation Uses Augmented Reality At The Grand Palais

The museum AR experiences detailed above are powered with Wikitude AR technology. Wezit Technical Director says that “there are many other AR options out in the market, but Wikitude is a trustworthy and reliable brand. Their AR platform implementation is easy to use and efficient. We can count on Wikitude not only technology-wise, but they also provide exceptional customer support.” 

Augmented reality for museums

Want to dive deeper into the Augmented Reality and Museums topic? Explore Wezit’s 5 main reasons why museums are (or should be!) using AR technology.

SDK releases

Wikitude SDK 8.6: HoloLens + Flutter Plugin + Geo AR for Unity

After another productive product improvement cycle, the Wikitude team is excited to present SDK version 8.6. The update includes our powerful – now product ready – HoloLens AR package, introduces support for Flutter, adds Geo-AR for Unity users, and offers further performance enhancements.

Wikitude SDK 8.6 at a glance:

  • Wikitude SDK for Hololens – production version
  • Flutter Plugin – release candidate
  • Geo AR for Unity Plugin (by PendAR)
  • Performance and stability enhancements

Wikitude SDK for HoloLens – Production Version

The Wikitude augmented reality SDK for Microsoft HoloLens 1 is Unity based, comes with a Holographic UI sample app, and is now available in production version. 

A little over a month ago, we launched our HoloLens AR SDK release candidate. The package allowed our customers and partners to test Wikitude Object + Image + Cloud and more HoloLens AR-tracking technology features within their projects.

The response has been very positive. And we have also received valuable feedback which enabled us to improve the platform even further, resulting in a powerful production-ready HoloLens AR SDK. 

With Wikitude SDK 8.6, companies can now purchase and download our augmented reality package for Microsoft HoloLens 1 to create high-performing AR solutions.

New Image Recognition samples for Wikitude AR SDK for HoloLens

Make sure to check out the new Image Target samples to review the performance of the Wikitude SDK for HoloLens.

Additionally, you may access our Wikitude HoloLens Documentation section for further details, instructions, and information.

Augmented Reality for Flutter – Release Candidate Plugin

Wikitude SDK 8.6 is the first AR platform to provide official support for Flutter.

Flutter is an open-source mobile application UI development framework toolkit created by Google. It is used to develop natively-compiled applications for iOS and Android from a single codebase.

Wikitude developers can now work with Wikitude SDK 8.6 to add augmented reality technology to their projects created in Flutter. The Flutter Plugin is based on JavaScript API and comes with the full package: Wikitude AR library/framework, sample apps, and documentation.

Flutter AR Plugin: Feedback Welcomed

As this is a release candidate, we are eager to receive as much developer feedback as possible. When trying the flutter AR plugin, feel free to send us an email ( to share what you liked about the development experience and, most importantly, what you think could be improved. Every email received will be highly appreciated and taken into consideration in the improvement process.

Please access the Flutter package manager to install the plugin.

Geo AR for Unity Plugin

Location-based augmented reality is a big hit among the augmented reality community. Starting with Wikitude SDK 8.6, and thanks to PendAR – augmented reality partner of Wikitude, developers can now use LBAR to create Geo-AR experiences in no time in Unity3D. 

LBAR offers a very simple workflow for location-based applications. It can be integrated with other apps in Unity3D, and there will be no need to put effort into geo calculations. LBAR also offers a simple and easy-to-use radar so users can have a better understanding of their surroundings.

Access the Wikitude download page to select the LBAR Geo-AR SDK package.

AR SDK Performance and Stability Enhancements

With every new Wikitude SDK release, our quality assurance team takes the opportunity to review and optimize the platform to ensure all AR features, classic and new, are performing as they should be, enhancing stability whenever possible.

Wikitude SDK 8.6 includes a series of fixes and stability improvements. Please review the release notes for your platform for an in-depth report.

Download Wikitude SDK 8.6

Active Wikitude SDK subscribers are entitled to all SDK version updates released throughout their term. Follow the links below to update your SDK:

New to Wikitude? Download a free Wikitude SDK 8.6 trial version for testing purposes and contact our team to discuss upgrade possibilities.

To explore all SDK options, including smart glasses, plugins, and other dev tools, please access our download page:

Interested in creating an AR project of your own? Access our store to choose your package or contact our team to discuss your specific AR requirements in detail.