At the start of any large AR project, you’re faced with a decision: who will perform the development to make your vision a reality? Should you hire an engineer, or would an agency be a better fit? And if you decide to hire an agency, how do you make sure they will have the capabilities for the job? Making the right choice can significantly impact the success of your project. In this article, we will guide you through the process of selecting the right augmented reality development company, and provide guidance on avoiding some common pitfalls.
Benefits of Hiring an Augmented Reality Development Company
Developing an end-to-end AR project requires diverse skills. No matter how smart, experienced, or well-educated a single person is, they wouldn’t have had the time to learn every single one of those skill sets. For example, if you’re planning on users interacting with your project via their smartphones, you’ll need a front-end developer and a computer vision specialist. If you plan to use a headset instead, you’ll need someone who can work with the headset you have in mind, or even advise on which headset to use. If you plan to connect to any IoT-capable devices, you’ll need another set of skills to incorporate those elements.
When working with a development company, you gain access to a talented pool of professionals with specialized skills. Since you don’t need to pay full-time rates to each individual working on the project, you’re likely to pay an agency significantly less than you’d need to pay a full in-house team.
Expertise in Navigating the Complexities of AR
AR is a rapidly evolving field with a wide variety of hardware options. Each one has its own capabilities, pros, and cons for any given project. Choosing the right hardware is crucial to ensure the final outcome matches the vision you have in your mind. An experienced AR development company can provide valuable insights and guidance, which will help you to select the most suitable hardware platform for your target audience and project requirements.
AR projects also require expertise in dealing with real-world challenges. Unlike traditional software development, AR exists in dynamic environments with non-optimal lighting, varying distances, and other complicated factors. An agency well-versed in AR development understands these challenges and can ensure that your software functions seamlessly in real-world scenarios.
Get Familiar with Your Needs and Goals
Before reaching out to start interviewing an AR development company, make sure you can answer these questions for yourself. By understanding your goals and your ideal end result, you’ll be able to more effectively evaluate each agency you speak with.
What hardware will users have?
The device you choose will impact the development process, and it will also determine which features you’ll be able to incorporate. If your users will need to have their hands free, a headset it a great option. If you’d rather be accessible to a broader audience, a smartphone interface might be your best choice. Regardless of what you choose, you should make sure to ask the development company about their experience with that particular platform.
Who is your target user?
Identifying your target audience and their needs is important to the success of your AR project. For example, a neurosurgeon utilizing assistive AR technology will have significantly different needs and expectations than a child playing an AR game. Understanding your users' demographics, preferences, and goals will allow the development company to tailor the experience accordingly.
When do you need to launch? And, are there other milestone deadlines you need to hit?
Having a clear timeline for your project allows both you and your agency to plan well from the start. By communicating your timing needs clearly, the AR development companies you speak with can determine if they have availability and resources to meet your timing needs.
Questions to ask When Interviewing an AR Development Company
As you speak with AR development companies, these questions will help you evaluate whether each one will be a good fit for your company, your goals, your needs, and your values.
How do they protect your intellectual property (IP)?
The AR industry is highly competitive, and you wouldn’t want to see your intellectual property land in the hands of a competitor. Ensure that any dev company you consider partnering with has measures in place to safeguard your code and prevent unauthorized use or re-use. Domestic organizations often have lower risks of re-using code across projects, providing additional security for your IP.
Can they provide long-term support?
AR projects require ongoing support and maintenance even after the initial development is complete. Imagine the user device you choose performs a software update 6 months after your launch, and it impacts the function of your app. Will the agency you chose be able to help? These types of speed bumps are very common in AR software development, and planning ahead for them will save you many headaches down the road.
While no business is guaranteed to be successful, an established business with solid financial footing is less likely to be out of business in a year. While you’re evaluating a development firm, ask about the company's policy for long-term support. Do they offer support via annual retainers, billing on an hourly basis, or on an on-call basis?
Do they have a Quality Lifecycle Support (QLS) system?
A reliable AR development company should have a robust quality assurance process in place. Ask about their QLS system, which helps identify and address any software bugs or potential issues before deployment. This ensures a smooth and seamless user experience, minimizing disruptions and maximizing customer satisfaction.
How do they handle confidential data?
If your project involves handling sensitive or confidential information, ensure that the development company adheres to strict privacy and security protocols. They should also be able to tell you about their cybersecurity policy and outline how they prevent data leaks of sensitive information. Ask about their approach to confidential data, especially considering biometric information privacy laws or other regulations specific to your industry and location.
Can they provide examples of their previous AR projects?
Reviewing the company's portfolio and past projects can provide valuable insights into their capabilities and expertise. Ask for examples of their work in the AR domain, preferably projects that are similar to the one you’ll be managing. This will give you a sense of their creativity, technical proficiency, and ability to deliver results.
We Can’t Wait to See You be Successful
Remember, selecting a partner with experience in handling complex AR projects and providing ongoing support is essential for achieving your desired outcomes. Best of luck with your AR project! If you have any further questions or would like to discuss your project requirements, feel free to contact us at DAS Labs. We are here to help you turn your AR vision into a reality.