App-based AR, or app-based Augmented Reality is the use of Augmented Reality technology using a dedicated application. App-based Augmented Reality can be created using pre-existing SDK’s.
SDKs, or Software Development Kits do exactly what they say on the tin. They are plug and play software platforms which enables users to create AR experiences both for personal use or commercially.
Technologies often used can be ARKit, ARCore, Vuforia and Spark AR.
Taking Spark AR as an example of a pre-existing AR-focused SDK, Spark AR enables developers to create and deploy AR experiences across the Facebook family of apps and devices.
What does this mean?
It means that an Augmented Reality experience made within Spark AR can only really function properly within the Facebook or Instagram app (among a few other FB owned applications).
This is great if you want to deliver an AR experience to a target-audience that typically dwells on those types of social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram).
Spark AR boasts one of their selling points as ‘easy-to-use templates and asset libraries’. That means that their SDK is great for simplistic experiences like face filters, however it’s almost impossible to launch large, complex 3D scenes using Spark AR.
The file size limit is 10mb which pretty much stops those kinds of large, impressive experiences that you see from the likes of Pot Noodle or Nutanix WebAR expo booth.
App-based AR certainly has its place in the world of Augmented Reality, and the advantage of being able to deliver experiences on FB/IG natively is certainly a plus.