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The top 6 augmented reality frameworks for businesses and creatives

Augmented reality (AR) is no longer a futuristic concept. It's at the heart of digital innovation, reshaping the way businesses, especially in the manufacturing and technical product sector, interact with their products and customers. The game changed recently when Apple stepped into the spatial computing market, featuring business tools like JigSpace in the launch of Vision Pro.

Today, we're navigating the top six augmented reality frameworks, focusing on their application in three key areas. Whether you're a developer, a business that deals with complex products, or an artist, there's an AR solution for you.

For Developers:

1. Unity: Unity is a game development engine widely used for creating interactive AR experiences. Developers who seek granular control over their AR applications will find Unity’s robust environment highly accommodating. Unity's extensive AR libraries, along with compatibility with platforms like ARKit and ARCore, make it an industry-standard choice. In addition to the out-of-the-box features, it boasts a comprehensive asset store and a supportive community. Unity's powerful rendering engine also means you can create visually stunning AR experiences, whether it's for gaming, education, or more enterprise-focused applications.

Viewing the Unity app

2. 8th Wall: 8th Wall offers a revolutionary approach to AR development, allowing you to create immersive experiences directly on the web. This JavaScript-based API provides a streamlined way to build AR applications that are platform-agnostic. As a cloud-based solution, 8th Wall allows developers to bypass the constraints of app stores, simplifying the process of sharing and accessing content. Furthermore, its innovative SLAM (Simultaneous Localization and Mapping) engine enables real-world environments to interact dynamically with digital objects, offering a genuinely engaging AR experience.

For Businesses:

3. JigSpace: Recognized during Apple's recent product launch, JigSpace is revolutionizing the way businesses communicate. Designed to simplify the complex, it’s a no-code AR solution that transforms your product presentations using the CAD files you already have, all in a matter of minutes. If you manufacture technical, hard to explain products, JigSpace has helped customers reduce sales cycles by 75%, and increase revenue by more than 300%.

Companies like Medtronic, Thermo Fisher, Automata, Panasonic, and PepsiCo are already reaping its benefits. Sign up to JigSpace for free, or learn more about the benefits of augmented reality for business.

Viewing the JigSpace app

4. Vuforia: With its strong emphasis on image and object recognition, Vuforia stands out as an AR platform that allows businesses to create AR experiences rooted in the real world. While powerful and well-established, Vuforia is a bit more technical compared to other AR frameworks, requiring some coding knowledge and a greater upfront investment in terms of development time. This makes it a solid choice for industrial applications or for businesses with access to development resources, particularly due to the wide reach and integrations offered by its parent company, PTC.

Viewing the Vuforia app

For Artists:

5. Snap Lens Studio: This is more than just an AR content creation tool—it's a gateway for artists to reach Snapchat's massive user base. Snap Lens Studio offers a user-friendly interface, requiring no previous coding knowledge, which makes it a great place for artists to begin their AR journey. With a wide range of features, including face and landmarker tracking, artists can transform their creative ideas into fun AR experiences. Snapchat has a global reach which means that artists can easily share their AR lenses with a massive audience, and potentially go viral.

6. Adobe Aero: Adobe Aero is a unique player in the AR space, offering tight integration with other Adobe tools like Photoshop and Illustrator. Its intuitive interface and cooperation with Adobe Creative Cloud make it an excellent choice for artists and creatives looking to bring their designs to life in AR. While it is powerful for creating visually immersive experiences, it might not cater to more technical or data-driven business needs. Nonetheless, for artists seeking to expand their creative canvas, Adobe Aero is a compelling tool.

In conclusion, your choice of an Augmented Reality Framework really comes down to what you need to achieve, and the time you have at your disposal. For developers seeking a coding-centric solution and broad application, Unity or 8th Wall is your best bet.

For businesses selling complex products and seeking to quickly get up and running with an effective sales and communication tool, JigSpace is your game-changer. And for artists eager to make their mark in the AR space with creative projects, Snap Lens Studio and Adobe Aero are the tools you need.

The world of spatial computing and AR isn't some far off dream — it's here. With the right framework, you can be part of this transformative wave. So why wait? Start your AR journey with JigSpace today, and revolutionize your business landscape.

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Zac Duff
Zac Duff
Zac Duff
Co-Founder and CEO