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Custom Augmented Reality Software Development vs. Off-the-Shelf

Is custom augmented reality software development the right fit for your needs?


Augmented Reality (AR) technology has become a transformative force in industries ranging from retail and real estate to healthcare and manufacturing. By overlaying digital information onto the user’s view of the physical world, AR streamlines processes, creates engaging experiences, and helps users to make more informed decisions. 


As AR continues to gain traction, businesses face a crucial decision: should they invest in custom AR software development or opt for off-the-shelf solutions? This choice can significantly impact a company’s ability to leverage AR technology effectively, influencing factors such as cost, scalability, and competitive advantage. Keep reading to learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of each option, and how to determine the best route for your project. 


two roads representing custom augmented reality software development and off-the-shelf solutions

Advantages of Custom Augmented Reality Software Development

Tailored to Your Specific Needs 

Custom augmented reality software development really can’t be beat when it comes to making sure that your solution will meet your unique requirements. Off-the-shelf solutions are designed for broad audiences because their developers want to sell them to as many organizations as possible. If you have a very specific and/or innovative need for your business, then custom development can help you get there with much greater certainty. 


Scalability

When you’re working with a team to build a custom solution, your AR developers can build a scalable system that allows it to grow with your needs. Particularly helpful for organizations with long-term growth plans, a scalable solution allows you to invest incrementally as you need more advanced software. 


Competitive Advantage 

Whether your augmented reality solution is designed to support your internal operations or will be used by your customers, the right custom design can give you a significant competitive advantage. Differentiating a system that your customers use can leave a lasting impression, building customer loyalty and customer lifetime value (CLV). Even a piece of software that’s only designed for internal operations can significantly improve efficiency, increasing profit margins. 


Integration 

Large companies often have established processes, workflows, and technology that would take significant time and resources to change. Custom augmented reality software development teams can build your AR solution to integrate seamlessly with the systems you already have in place to minimize disruptions.


Alignment with Corporate Branding

Most large corporations have invested heavily in defining their brand strategy. Then, they spend significant amounts of time developing and maintaining creative guidelines that communicate the brand they’ve cultivated. If an AR app is going to be associated with your brand, it should align with those guidelines, too. Developing augmented reality apps from scratch with a development team allows organizations to have full control over the visual presentation of your app - plus, you won’t have issues with another company’s watermark intruding on your brand’s AR experience.  


Off-the-Shelf Augmented Reality Software Advantages 

Cost

The most common reason we see companies shy away from custom development is the initial investment. Off-the-shelf software is designed to be purchased by a large number of businesses, so the business model allows the price to be relatively low. If you read through the advantages of custom development and you don’t feel that any of those features would benefit your project, then less expensive, off-the-shelf software can be a fantastic way to keep your project budget low. 


Quick Development 

Since custom augmented reality software development projects often need to be started from scratch for each client, the time from our initial conversation to a completed solution is much longer than a ready-to-go product. Businesses can often deploy off-the-shelf software with relatively little adjustment, so the option can look attractive if a quick time-to-market is a priority. 


Reach Out to Discuss Your Project 

If your priorities and business needs lead you to the route of custom development, reach out to claim your free consultation. We’d love to discuss your vision and how we can help. 


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