For more information on how retailers are using mixed commerce solutions, check out our Mixed Commerce Glossary, which defines the terminology being used by businesses to describe the changes currently sweeping retail. For a rundown of the biggest developments in Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality from the past 12 months, check out our 2016 roundup, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality – The Year In Review. And for a look ahead, check out the 5 top Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality technology trends for 2017.
Can I get a price check on a new Augmented Reality App?
It is an excellent question and one of the most frequent inquiries that we get: “How much does an Augmented Reality app cost?” The best way to answer this question is with a question: “How much does a house cost?” If one is living with parents or in a roommate situation, it can be seemingly free or very low cost to live in a house. At the high end, houses can cost hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars. As with all software, there is a spectrum of quality, service, options and features that come into play when pricing an AR app. How much does an AR app cost? It depends on the tastes and requirements of a given project or client.
Here is a quick rundown of what Augmented Reality apps cost and what is provided at each level of pricing. As with houses, there is a spectrum in terms of services and pricing. For AR apps, it ranges from free do-it-yourself (DIY) services to custom Augmented Reality apps built for enterprise customers that run north of $300K. If you’re curious about pricing for AR apps and experiences, keep reading to get the scoop on what to expect for the AR experience that you have in mind.
1) Free and low-cost AR apps
AR companies that offer do-it-yourself services, often provide basic tools and experiences free of charge. This type of service often appeals to educators and students or folks who are interested in proving a concept or experimenting with AR, but haven’t worked it into their budget. Entry-level DIY AR experiences can start at free, such as the basic 3D storytelling service provided by Zooburst or the ad-supported version of Layar Creator. Layar’s ad-free Pro Pages service starts at $60 per augmented page. Daqri also provides a limited-use service called 4D Studio that is free to educators and students.
Platforms such as Layar, Aurasma and Zappar offer free limited-use or trial experiences that provide self-service content management systems. These applications make simple AR implementations accessible. They are also much cheaper than custom app development. Without the engineering and creative team overhead, self-service platforms allow users to create, edit and maintain limited experiences such launching videos or very basic animations from print. Free and low-cost DIY services largely use a global AR reader model that doesn’t allow for custom app branding, creative, animations, features, branding or enterprise integrations without significant additional cost.
2) Custom AR apps and experiences
The most exceptional AR experiences are custom made. Corporate marketers, agencies and event marketers are typically looking for branded AR experiences that will adhere to their brand guidelines while setting them apart from the crowd. This is where custom AR app development comes in. Custom Augmented Reality apps and experiences, developed by companies like Marxent, Inde and GravityJack, are one-of-a-kind experiences. Pricing for these AR apps is typically based on the custom features defined by the client. At Marxent, custom experiences typically start in the neighborhood of $25 – $30K. Marxent staffs each custom project with a team of experienced developers, 3D artists, graphic designers and a project manager. Throughout a custom app project, clients work closely with the development team so that the final product reflects the client’s brand and creative vision.
Examples of custom experiences include the Inde Jurassic Park experience, created for Universal Studios Orlando, the IKEA AR catalog, and the One Direction campaign by Zappar. Marxent’s portfolio includes custom work for SanDisk, Heineken, Baxter Pharmaceutical and many other top brands.
3) Industry vertical AR solutions
Industry vertical solutions are focused on using scalable AR solutions to solve issues for industries such as retail, logistics, specific CPG categories and publishing. Pricing models vary substantially based on factors such as usage, the depth of a given content library, or “number of seats” but are typically comprised of licensing, support and volume of usage fees. Examples of industry vertical solutions include the ModiFace AR mirror, which targets cosmetic brands and retailers. Modiface was recently implemented by Sephora. Marxent’s 3D Cloud™, recently implemented by AZEK, is a cloud-based AR software service designed for the sales side of industrial manufacturing, retail and medical services. Another example is Daqri’s 4D Work Instructions, which are designed to help industrial companies manage manufacturing efficiency and worker safety. Pricing varies widely based on the industry and the solution but typically industry vertical AR solutions have a lower base app development cost that is paired with a recurring monthly maintenance fee.
The Marxent method: How we price AR app development
To determine the price of a custom or app, we start by asking lots of questions, listening to our clients and distilling the client’s vision into technical and creative requirements. The first step in building a custom AR app quote at Marxent is to determine whether the app will be an iOS Augmented Reality app only or built for both iOS and Android. Another important factor is whether the app will be published to an app store. In some cases apps are published, in other cases they are installed on a few (or many) specific devices. Other variables that influence pricing are the integration of data collection systems, the number of AR targets (images that can be activated with the app), quantity and sophistication of content such as 3D models and animations and the development timeline. All of our custom projects include a fully-staffed project team dedicated to customer service and exceptional experience creation.