Augmented Reality Companies in 2017

ThinkMobiles Team 12/04/2017

Augmented reality is still an exotic and underestimated feature in IT development fields. So, no wonder that the list of examples of augmented reality companies is so short. On the other hand, irrefutable success of Pokemon GO admits high potential of AR in commercial development.

This list includes companies that have succeeded in AR development. Their apps, games and software are famous enough in small circles.

Types of augmented reality companies

AR platform companies

These companies work on development software which is used for AR products creation. Meanwhile, they may also build and market their own end-products for users. But as it was said earlier, they focus on developing things which are used as basis for AR creation. In other words, they are:

  • Frameworks.
  • Engines.
  • SDKs.
  • Tools.

As a result, the next types of companies depend on AR platform companies framework products.

The leading AR platform developers are:

AR end-product companies

These companies specialize in developing, marketing and selling their own augmented reality end-products. So, it may be anything like:

Companies are also responsible for maintaining and updating their products after release. They may make money by selling them, as well as use any of free-to-use models.

Most of small companies are focusing on mobile AR development fields, thanks to its low-costs. Large companies and famous brands specialize on more vaulty dedicated consoles. However, they still can take a part in mobile market.

The leaders among this type of companies are:

AR services and custom viewers development companies

Companies provide users with utility tools that allow them to create AR experience. Thus, they are the simplest services with intuitive UI. In fact, they are available even without logging in. The builder contains a limited set of AR effects available for use. Finally, it doesn’t require any coding knowledge and skills to create anything.

Such kind of services is the best for usage in:

  • Publishing, for example in terms of adding AR effect to printed media.

  • Education fields for both educators and students.

  • Just for fun.

As a result, it suits for everyone who needs to create augmented reality experience for independent use. Finally, it is good for those who can’t afford investing tons of money into brand new AR app.

The leaders of such types of companies are:

Custom AR solution development companies:

These are companies that work with marketing agencies. They provide augmented reality content for different need. It can look like:

  • An advertising campaign.

  • TV show effects.

  • A live event.

Custom branded apps like these are developed for one main reason and contain personalized functional kit. They may be taken into any shell like sport, navigation or even game app, but they still fall into two categories:

  • for in-house usage – designed for special needs, e.g. AR effect builder.

  • for public usage – designed for supporting companies advertising events.

The leaders in these fields are:

Highly specialized AR solution development companies

Despite previous types of companies, these are industry-specific ones. In other words, they provide their services for one exclusive market niche, e.g. sport streaming, education or medicine. In the end, they provide Apps, platforms and marketing services for their clients, but they work with companies, not with customers.

A clear example of such kind of company is GravityJack. The company provides AR marketing campaign for luxury jewelry retailer Holition.

AR platform companies

Vuforia

augmented reality companies

Vuforia software development kit is the most widely used SDK for augmented reality development. It is supporting all the newest trends in AR technology such as Google Tango Project. As a result, it is possible to deploy and position various objects in connection to real world environment.

Projects

Vuforia SDK enables Computer Vision Technology to track variety of 2D and simple 3D targets in real time. Meantime, markerless and location based AR experience may be also realised with the help of Vuforia SDK. Vuforia provides API in:

  • .Net (with the help of Unity plugin)

  • C++ and Objective C++

  • Java.

Vuforia projects can be developed as native Android or iOS applications. Alternatively, it may be hybrid and adapted to any platform while developed on Unity.

Specialty

AR SDK development.

Total Immersion

augmented reality companies

Total Immersion was founded in 1999 in France by Bruno Uzzan. Later, it expanded to the United States for their first and second international offices in San Francisco and Los Angeles. For now on, they have large offices around the world in London, Hong Kong and Tokyo. The amount of company staff is close to 90 employees and it deals with over 130 partners worldwide.

Products

D’fusion platform supports development of AR commercial services. It is used to create AR projects for mobile, web and industrial application, on-stage events and public presentations. Community behind D’fusion is already strong as well as available for various tutorial and guide materials.

TryLive – the first “virtual dressing room” in history, which gives eCommerce one more tool to reach customers. The application gives users a chance to try clothes from the online-store in order to make a wiser decision. Anyone may experience how a product suits, looks and moves without actual physical presence.

Specialty

AR platforms and solutions for eCommerce, mCommerce, retail and marketing.

METAIO

augmented reality companies

The company was founded in Germany in 2003 by Thomas Alt and Peter Meier. Soon the company expanded to 6 more offices in the United States. The company designed SDK to programme AR applications for desktop, web, mobile and custom offline. METAIO is focused on developing software to provide augmented reality solutions. In fact, Apple Inc acquired Metaio in 2015 for an undisclosed sum.

Products

Metaio SDK – the platform for AR development. It came with an innovation idea that allows application usage without prior encryption. In other words, offline tools or servers is are not required to track patterns and generate or deploy 3D assets. This SDK is suitable for creating apps for Androids, iOS and Windows, and is supported by Unity plugins.

Metaio Creator – drag-and-drop software that allows users to create augmented reality events. But even so, limited capabilities of the application are compensated by absence of coding requirements and its users’ technical skills.

Junario – the first integrated AR application, which allows users to experience augmented reality content through various channels. Its functional set is similar to any other AR Browsers like Wikitude or Layar.

Specialty

Software and SDK for creation and experiencing AR content.

eCommerce AR solutions.

Industry AR solutions.

AR end-product companies

Microsoft

augmented reality companies

The IT giant company is famous for Microsoft Windows. It was founded in 1975 in the United States by Paul Allen and Bill Gates. For now it is probably the most valuable player in the world of IT fields. So, no wonder that the company holds trends and takes its role in augmented reality researches and developments.

Products

Microsoft Hololens – augmented reality glasses made up of six sensors and a depth camera, an inertial measurement unit. As hardware it includes Intel Cherry Trail SoC and coprocessors.

Microsoft created a bunch of different augmented reality applications to raise interest to Hololens.

  • Cortana – the application acts like a virtual assistant.

  • Skype implication that works like the original app.

  • AR games: FragmentsYoung ConkerRoboRaid.

  • Actiongram – video recording app that allows creating media with completed preset of mixed-reality objects in the scene.

Specialty

AR equipment development.

AR app and game development for Microsoft Hololens.

Sony

augmented reality companies

One of the top 100 world companies was founded in 1946 in Japan by Masaru Ibuka. Nowadays, Sony is an international company with numerous employees around the world. In fact, Sony isn’t primarily associated with augmented reality development, but huge budget enables it to make colossal investment into this field.

Products

SmartEyeglass – Sony’s augmented reality glasses. It includes camera, GPS and a bunch of sensors to superimpose digital information in front of the user’s eyes. Meantime, the company provides all developers with SDK for app development exactly for SmartEyeglass. It’s supported by different guides and tutorials.

AR effects is the simplest augmented reality app. It realizes the idea of providing users with tools for enhancing their video and photomedia with a couple of AR effects.

Specialty

AR equipment development and support.

Niantic

augmented reality companies

At the beginning, it was founded in 2010 by John Hanke as an internal startup within Google Inc. But later on, in 2015, it became independent. The company is located in the United States with several offices around the country. They are famous for games that provoke people to get outside and explore the real world in looking for the game content within it.

Products

Pokemon Go – Niatic released the AR game in touch with Nintendo and The Pokemon Company. In fact, the game gives users a chance to capture digital pets only if he they goes outside and find them somewhere in the real world. Beside its exploding success in the first week of realization it also raises people’s interest to augmented reality in total.

Ingress – similar to Pokemon Go game, Ingress requires a user to go outside to receive game experience. However, here players join one side of two opposite factions that challenge each other in the fight for world dominance. As a result, players should capture special spots of a so called exotic matter to take advantages among rival factions.

Specialty

  • AR located-based game development.

AR services and custom viewers development companies

HP Autonomy

augmented reality companies

The company was founded in 1996 in the United Kingdom by Michael Lynch, David Tabizel and Richard Gaunt. The company originally focused on large unstructured data analysis services. By 2010 it became the UK’s most successful company in IT fields. In 2011 it presented Aurasma Lite that shortly after became one of the world famous AR Browsers.

Products

Aurasma – an application that gives any user development tools to design, create and experience AR content without coding any bit. Such kind of AR content is called Auras. Apart from being locationbased, it may be either public or private. In the end, all of AR events may be recorded or captured into a photo.

Specialty

AR Browser development.

Wikitude

augmented reality companies

The company was founded in 2008 in Austria. Shortly, in the same year they published their AR Browser. Originally, it focused on maintaining, updating and marketing the same name of AR Browser. Later, in 2012 it presented the public with Wikitude SDK that supported developers in AR fields. SDK provides image recognition, tracking and geolocation functions.

Products

Wikitude World Browser – the very first AR Browser. In fact, it is a powerful and heavy tool that enables to create and experience AR content through mobile screen. For now on, it has AR content waiting to be experienced in each corner of the world. In addition, Wikitude World Browser sees all Wikipedia information requested by a user.

Wikitude SDK – a great SDK tool to develop applications focused on the usage of augmented reality and mixed reality features. Moreover, most of Wikitude SDK functional kits have one of the highest capabilities. It holds its position among top 3 SDKs suitable for AR project development.

Specialty

  • AR Browser development.
  • AR SDK development.

Layar

augmented reality companies

The Dutch company was founded in 2009 by Raimo van der Klein, Claire Boonstra and Maarten Lens-FitzGerald. In the same year they launched AR Browser with the same name. The company focuses on maintaining, marketing and advancing its own product. Any other stuff they developed is intended to buff Layar AR Browser user experience.

Products

Layar – an AR Browser designed to get information from so called “layers”. This representational state transfers web service that contains points-of-interest geolocation data. In addition, users may develop and create their own layers by using Layar Creator. But more advanced apps and tools require Layar SDK.

Specialty

AR browser development and support.

Custom AR solutions development companies

Thinkmobiles

augmented reality companies

This IT development company was founded in 2011 in Ukraine by Alexander Sohanych. While, the company puts the main focus is on mobile and web application development, it also keeps an eye on world AR and VR trends. As a result, Thikmobiles provides quality AR solutions for brand applications and eCommerce platforms.

Clients

  • Holsten Systems.
  • CaptainVR.
  • Hashplay.
  • Gyroptic.

Specialty

Custom AR solutions for brand apps and eCommerce.

INDE

augmented reality companies

It was founded in 2010 in the United Kingdom. The company originally focuses on AR and VR development fields, advertising and coding education. They provide AR solutions for both mobile and large-screen experiences in order to buff brand awareness and make it noticeable.

Clients

  • The Honest Co.
  • Best Buy.
  • Sephora.
  • Petco.

Specialty

Brand AR marketing campaigns

Gravity Jack

augmented reality companies

It was founded in 2009 in the United States. The company provides augmented and virtual reality solutions to clients. By using their own SDK PoindextAR they provide professional, markerless services to a wide range of industries.

Clients

  • The Lincoln Motor Company.
  • iTero element.
  • TaylorMad.
  • KraftHeinz.

Specialty

A wide range of custom AR solutions.

Highly specialized AR solution developer companies

Blippar

augmented reality companies

It was founded in 2011 in the United Kingdom. The company specializes on using AR and AI technologies. They try to enhance surroundings with advanced digital information campaign based on AR technology. In 2015 the company announced its funding growth to $45 million thanks to undiscovered investors. Later in 2015 they unveiled plans to develop an optical search technology solution.

Product

Face – Blippar takes the main role in developing this Holition app idea. By using AR the application provides customers with the ability to trial make-up before making purchase. Face app recognizes and tracks a user face features, while the user may manually superimpose AR layers of makeup on it.

NASA

augmented reality companies

In 1958 the United States established Nasa as a civilian agency for space research. Since 1998 NASA has designed and developed various projects in AR and VR fields focused on space science. Meanwhile, some of them are not intended for public usage yet, but most of others can be easily found around the internet.

Solution

NASA app – the primary NASA application that contains massive content about all NASA projects in past and future. Thus, it is separated into 9 sections and includes massive technical and scientific data as well as media, tweets and news.

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