Dec 11 • Dinesh Punni

How to become an AR developer in 2023

I've been into XR development for about 7 years now and in this blog post, I want to share some insights about what companies are looking for in an AR developer and how you can become an AR developer not too long from today.

If you are interested in VR, then definitely check out my blog post How to become a VR developer. AR and VR are quite similar but still different, that’s why I’ve decided to split them into two separate posts.

Choose your platform(s)

The first thing you want to do is decide on a platform. Choose if you want to develop for Android, for iOS or maybe also for both. All of these three options have different approaches.

Unlike VR development, you have a lot more options when developing for Augmented Reality. There are:

  • completely web-based tools,
  • JavaScript libraries,
  • native development for Android (with Java), or
  • native development for iOS (with Swift).
  • You can also use Unity or Unreal.

In the end, the decision lies in what you’re interested in or what strengths you already have in some of the options I mentioned above.

If you are an iOS dev already, then you most likely will go for iOS native development. For flexible cross-platform development, Unity or Unreal make the most sense. If you want to have your application on the web, a tool like a-frame could be interesting.
💡 immersive insiders teaches Unity and C#, which works cross-platform on Android and iOS.

Understand AR technology

Once you’ve chosen your favorite platform, it’s really about knowing the technology itself and understanding how Augmented Reality works. Being familiar with topics like SLAM (Simultaneous Localization and Mapping), image recognition, positional tracking, and spatial mapping is necessary for being an actual AR developer.

Don’t forget HMD Augmented Reality

AR is also constantly evolving, so there’s not only mobile-based AR which is the most accessible right now, but also the HoloLens, Magic Leap, and JioGlasses. You also have the possibility to work with emulators, and even though it’s not very close to the real deal, it may help you get a foot into the door and kickstart your career.

Join and engage in AR communities

It’s super helpful to be up-to-date on what’s going on in the industry, so going to meetups, participating in forums or chats and talking to other devs is essential. That makes it easier for you to get into the field and to meet like-minded peers. Since the industry is still such a new and growing thing, it feels like a small and collaborative family where everyone knows each other (at least from my experience).

You can also go to your favorite social media platform (we found the best platforms for that purpose are YouTube and LinkedIn) and follow the producers of different HMDs (Microsoft, Valve, Varjo etc.), game engines like Unity and Unreal, or just AR/VR Creators in general. This new industry is growing and evolving super fast, and trying to keep up with the new changes is crucial.

All in all, it’s a ton of fun working with the newest stuff and you can do amazing things with that technology.
It has a huge, huge, huge potential, so don’t miss out!

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