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Markerless Augmented Reality is a breakthrough technology that’s now ready for prime time. Markerless AR is has been embraced by the general public, thanks to moments of wide publicity — last summer’s release of Pokémon Go and Apple’s ARKit announcement at this year’s WWDC are two prime examples. So what is Markerless AR? What can it do? And how are businesses already using it to attract and maintain customers?

We’ve written stories here at Marxent that answer all of these questions and more. Here are some of our favorites.

Beginners Guides to Markerless Augmented Reality

Interested in Markerless AR, but not really sure where to start? Understandable. That’s why we had Ken Moser, Marxent’s resident PhD, explain Markerless AR, its history and what you can do with it. Markerless Augmented Reality: A Q&A with Marxent’s Ken Moser, PhD is an in-depth overview of the technology (there’s even a Part 2!) that’s still accessible to those who lack an advanced degree in Computer Science.

We also spent some time picking Ken’s brain about the concept of “Mixed Reality,” a buzzword that has sown confusion among the general public. So What is Mixed Reality? And how does it differ from Augmented Reality or Virtual Reality? We had Ken explain.

Now that you’re up on what Markerless AR is all about, it’s time to dive into the different solutions companies have come up with to deliver the tech to consumers. Can you tell the difference between Markerless AR built with “SLAM,” “GPS-based,” or “Multi-Camera” technology? And which one of those is right for you? Best get these 6 keys to choosing the right AR solution before making a decision.

And finally, for a look at a full-service Markerless AR implementation made for retail, check out the 3D Cloud™ Augmented Reality primer.

Big Companies Using AR Solutions

Markerless Augmented Reality is poised to breakout into the public consciousness in a big way in the second half of 2017, thanks largely to some gigantic corporations getting behind the technology in a big way. That starts with Apple, which made a huge splash back in June with the announcement of ARKit, which was immediately dubbed a “game changer” for AR.

We took out own deep dive into ARKit coverage, breaking down the announcement and what the new technology means for the industry.

Not to be outdone, Google unveiled ARCore, their own native Markerless AR toolkit for Android. ARCore is on par with Apple ARKit in terms of features, stability, and quality of the 3D images — though Google may face an uphill climb in getting developers to create apps using the SDK. The reason? Android is a notoriously fragmented platform, with users spread across multiple older versions of the OS. ARCore will work with Android 7.0 (nicknamed “Nougat”) and the soon-to-be-released Android 8.0 (called “Oreo), but as of August 2017, those operating systems are only used by 13% of Android handset owners. By comparison, Apple’s most recent OS, iOS 10, is currently installed on 90% of iPhones. How Google overcomes the fragmentation problem will dictate how well ARCore does with developers, and by extension the general public.

In addition to Apple, retail-Goliath Amazon has been looking to AR as a way to better engage with its customers. One big idea: Use AR to sell goods people are usually reluctant to buy online. And as explained in Disrupting Furniture Retail: Amazon, Augmented Reality and More, Amazon is far from alone: Wayfair, Wal-Mart, and Alibaba are but a few of the names trying to beat Amazon to the punch.

As is Ikea, the number one furniture manufacturer in the world — and a company with a history of innovating the way people purchase products. Ikea is on board with Apple’s ARKit, but they’ll need to pay attention to these 6 keys to winning with Augmented Reality for retail if they want to prepare for the coming uptick in competition from Amazon.