Augmented Reality App Development Cost: Ins and Outs You Need to Know

6 min readJul 18, 2019


Augmented reality broadens the borders of the real-world environment and opens new opportunities for business. According to research by Digi-Capital, AR could surpass $70–75 billion in revenue by 2023, while the revenue for VR could be around $10–15 billion.

In our article, we uncover the basics of AR development.

AR App Development: Insight into the Technology

Let’s first dive into the concept of AR development.

How AR Works

Augmented reality is a technology that deploys a virtual image over real-world objects. It is a superimposition of a CG Image combined with the real world.

How AR works:

  • The camera produces footage of real-life objects. This provides a foundation for the scene wherein augmented objects are placed.
  • The registration process, which depends on the type of AR application, figures out how to put an AR object in the picture.
  • The combined image is transmitted to the device where a user can see it.

What is the Difference Between AR and VR App Development?

AR vs VR

While AR applications allow 2D or 3D graphics elements to be put into a real-world environment and interact with it based on the position and orientation of the camera, VR technology creates an interactive artificial world for a user acting within a simulated environment.

Create AR Apps: Areas to Explore

AR app development is a profitable field to explore for various types of businesses. According to predictions by Hackernoon, we will see the majority of advancements of AR technology in the healthcare industry. Almost any area stands to benefit.

The Most Promising Industries for AR and VR
  • Medicine
  • E-commerce
  • Real estate and architecture
  • Entertainment industry
  • Tourism and travel
  • Education
  • Military

AR App Development Cost: Influencing Factors

Below you will find information on the main types of augmented reality apps and the most popular SDKs that are used to create them.

Main Types of Augmented Reality Apps

Types of AR Apps

Based on this, all AR apps can be divided into the following three groups:

  • Marker-based AR apps
  • Location-based AR apps
  • AR based on visual odometry

Note: ReVistor, the application developed by the MLSDev team, was created based on visual odometry.

SDKs for Developing AR App

Below, you can see the comparison table of some popular augmented reality creation software options:

You can find more information on AR SDKs on the Socialcompare website.

Services that Make Up the AR App Development Cost

App development cost depends on many factors, including the type of app you develop, features you want to implement, and even the company you hire.

At MLSDev, the whole development process is divided into the discovery and development stages. The image below describes them in more detail:

Processes That Influence Augmented Reality App Development Cost

Let’s take a closer look at each service that influences the formation of the AR app cost.

Business Analysis

During this stage, a business analyst identifies business needs and determines the best solution for them. Business analysis might take up to 60–80 hours. This part of the discovery stage also influences AR app development cost because a business analyst needs to conduct comprehensive research and give exhaustive recommendations.

Augmented Reality App Design

The work of a UX/UI designer depends on the conducted business analysis. Based on the data received from a business analyst, designers create UX and UI that meet the needs of end-users, visualize all features, and make the interface user-friendly.

Software Architecture Planning

This is also an integral part of the discovery stage. The time needed to build architecture for an AR application may take between 25 to 40 hours. The more complex the app is, the more time this phase takes up.

Project Management and Team Review

The main task of a project manager is to correlate the efforts of all of the other team members. A project manager takes on the whole planning process, sets priorities, controls task accomplishments, etc.

Project management accompanies the entire app development process, just like the process of team review. During the latter, the team reviews the progress of development and identifies which portions of the work need to be improved.


This is one of the main factors that influence AR app development cost. Below you will find our very approximate estimates on the time needed to build AR apps with a minimum set of features.

Once you decide to take your app further, you will need to add more complex features.

Below, you can find some of these features and the approximate time needed for their implementation:

Quality Assurance

Quality assurance and testing are an integral part of AR app development that ensure everything works smoothly on different devices and that users won’t encounter any problems.

QA usually takes up one-third of the time spent on development.

Cost to Development AR Application

So, how much does it cost to build an augmented reality app?

Based on the listed services and the above rough estimations, we can calculate a very approximate AR app development cost.

If you choose to develop an app with some of the available paid SDKs, don’t forget to include that price into the final AR app development cost.

MLSDev’s Experience in AR App Development

Revistor App

Our company has broad experience in building mobile applications — from a client’s idea to the fully functioning application.

MLSDev was immersed in the AR while working on ReVistor History — an AR application dedicated to the American Civil War and other historical events.

ReVistor allows users to relive famous historical events, such as battles, as they occur around them. In the spin-off application, reVistor — create 3D Augmented Reality, users can create their own 3D augmented reality scenes at the GPS locations they choose.

You can check the reVistor case in our portfolio to learn about our work on the project in more detail.

This is a summary of an article published on MLSDev blog. If you would like to learn more details regarding AR app development and its cost — read the full article.




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