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How much an augmented reality app costs

Calculating an augmented reality application development costs is not a matter of a few minutes because there are many factors to consider. How do you determine the budget you’ll need to allocate for AR app development?



Smartphone traffic is continuously growing, and the mobile app market is getting more and more saturated. Currently, businesses from every sector of the economy are trying to establish and facilitate their online presence. Mobile apps can help businesses to reach out to the target audience and build a 24/7 connection with it.

Mobile app development is a million-dollar industry that develops and changes rapidly. To make an app that will get noticed in 2019, one needs to follow the best practices of the sector and its latest trends at the same time. One of the technologies that are on everyone’s lips now is augmented reality. In this post, we will explain why, how, and at what cost you can implement it into your mobile application.

Potential of AR mobile apps

Before we start calculating the AR app development cost, let’s do a quick skim of the main advantages the implementation of AR gives to mobile apps.

Firstly, the augmented reality technology can potentially change our everyday lives. Its influence reaches far beyond gaming and exercising. Both international enterprises and small companies invest in AR technology to revolutionize the way people learn, work, communicate, and consume content in general.

Quite often, entrepreneurs are investing in AR applications for industrial and commercial use. It’s mainly because AR solutions have great potential for the profitability and productivity of enterprises that implement them. AR technology offers advanced visualization that can boost customer engagement and brand recognition significantly. An AR mobile app can be a powerful channel that can increase your company’s profit.

Elements of AR app cost

Mobile app downloads reached 197 billion in 2017, and the number is expected to reach 352 billion by 2021. It almost looks like you can find an app for everything, and yet the AR apps occupy a tiny market share despite their popularity.

There are very few successful augmented reality apps that are well thought-out, integral, and well-operating. If you are thinking of creating the next big AR mobile app, here are the development cost factors you need to consider:

  • Business model. You can make your app completely free of charge and ad-free, free but packed with ads, free with in-app purchases, or available for download at a specified cost. Some developers make two versions of an application, a free app with limited functionality, and a premium app that lets you unlock all the features for a fee.

  • Platform. You might want to create an AR app for iOS, Android, some other platform, or all of the above.

  • Design. The complexity and sophistication of design are based on your project requirements.

  • Functionality. The complexity and sophistication of the app functionality depend on your project requirements.

  • User interface. The complexity of user interface development depends on your app functionality and the platform or platforms you choose.

  • Vendor. You can choose a local development company, find an outsourcing development agency, turn to outstaffing or hire a freelancer to build your project.

  • Project timeline. The development price will change based on your deadlines. If you have a tight schedule and the release date is pushing you, you are likely to need a larger development team to work on your project. It will inevitably lead to a rise in expenses. Do not expect a long-term, complex project to be very cheap as well.

AR apps only occupy a small market share despite its popularity. (Photo by Stoyan Yotov via Shutterstock)

AR app development: Hourly rate

One of the principal factors of an augmented reality application development cost is the rate of a vendor you choose to build your project. Their rate will depend on team location, size, expertise, and reputation.

Here is an overview of augmented reality app development hourly rates across the world:

  • India and Asian countries: $10 – 55

  • Eastern Europe: $25 – 100

  • Western Europe: $80 – $150

  • US and Canada: $100 – $250

As you can see, the augmented reality app development cost depends on a wide range of factors. After you discuss your AR app idea with a development team, they will provide you with an accurate estimate for your project.

Make sure to pick a vendor that has good experience in AR development and relevant case studies to back up their skills. It wouldn’t harm to test the team skills with a trial assignment.

How to estimate an AR app cost

How much will an AR app cost? This is the question every client with an augmented reality app in mind asks. For better or for worse, there is no fit for all answer, as you have probably already understood from this post. Luckily, there are several ways of estimating the potential cost of your application development.

Online app cost calculator

An app cost calculator is the simplest and the quickest way of determining an augmented reality application price. Numerous development agencies offer such calculators on their websites for information and marketing purposes. Such a calculator will not be able to give you a precise estimate, but it will give you a good idea about the app cost formation and its range for your project. Most step-by-step calculators are interactive, and they let you see how the price changes based on the features you add or delete from the app.

Developer’s rough estimate

When discussing your app with a development company, you can ask them for a rough estimate of your project. An experienced vendor will give you an approximate price range. However, a rough estimate is merely an indicative number that can somewhat differ from the final detailed estimate.

Developer’s detailed estimate

When you decide to build your AR app project with a given vendor, you will discuss every detail of your future application with them, and show them all of the related project documentation. After this, the development team will be able to provide you with a detailed estimate, that is a precise app development cost.

As a rule, in addition to development itself, the price will include business analysis, design, quality assurance, and project management services. Different vendors have various cooperation conditions and can give you a choice between a fixed-price project development or hourly rate for the development process with a definite deadline. Either way, the total cost should be agreed on and documented before the work on the project begins.

Developing an augmented reality smartphone application is not an easy or cheap thing. Still, it is worth it as augmented reality has the impressive potential for numerous industries.

Whether you have an AR app idea for gaming, education, e-commerce, entertainment or science, the development cost is one of the main questions you need to figure out. While you can find approximate numbers online, only a development team with relevant experience will be able to name a precise cost after they review your project documentation and discuss it with you. Compare the offers from several vendors before signing a contract with one.

(Featured image by NicoElNino via Shutterstock)

DISCLAIMER: This article expresses my own ideas and opinions. Any information I have shared are from sources that I believe to be reliable and accurate. I did not receive any financial compensation for writing this post, nor do I own any shares in any company I’ve mentioned. I encourage any reader to do their own diligent research first before making any investment decisions.

Maria Redka is a Technology Writer at MLSDev, a web and mobile app development company in Ukraine. She has been writing content professionally for more than 3 years. Maria researches the IT industry and the app development market to create educative content for the company's clients and build MLSDev as a brand. The opportunity to share her knowledge with people who are looking for valuable information to understand more about app development is something that motivates Maria and inspires her to create more quality content.