Happy New Year! We hope you’re all rested and already taking 2018 by storm!
But before we say a proper goodbye to 2017, we here at Fuzzy Logic thought it would be a good time to recap what happened in the world of Augmented Reality, Games and Apps last year with our Industry Round Up of 2017.
It was an exciting year in all spheres, so let’s jump in…..
AR was once again catapulted to the forefront of consumers’ minds with the advent of Apple announcing ARKit to the world. June 2017 saw them introducing their new operating system, iOS11, fully embracing AR and bringing it to the masses. From opening a door onto a football pitch in the centre of an office, to a rocket being landed on a swimming pool, the internet was suddenly awash with Youtube videos of developers experimenting with this new kit and everyone was talking about augmented reality. For a great website that explores these demos and experiments, check out Made With ARKit.
And then Google announced their ARCore……. the AR wars began!
The new ARKit functionality will only be available to those that have the new operating system, iOS11, but as at November 2017, the adoption of this new version was as high as 52% according to MacRumours, and is expected to increase rapidly with the arrival of the iPhone X. This is in stark comparison to the adoption of the latest version of Android, Android 8 Oreo, with rates as miniscule as 0.2%, as it is only available on a few devices (source wired.com). So while ARCore is welcomed with open arms, it will only be worth discussing once it is supported by more devices.
But let’s just break away from the hype and talk about the the most exciting and important benefits that ARKit brings us. One of the main features of ARKit is that you no longer need an image for your device to recognise to activate an AR experience. AR is also no longer limited to a specific object, position, place or time. Apple devices with the new operating system can now:
- Recognise the real world environment, specifically surfaces like tables and floors. This allows us to place content within the real world without requiring any printouts / markers. Recognise points in the real world and get information back from them. A great example of this is a developer who created a tape measure which measures the distance between two physical points by just pointing the phone!
- Display content in real life as if it were right in front of you with realistic lighting and shadows all added dynamically.
- Content is not constrained to a small location due to the fact that you no longer need to look at an image and keep it in view at all times. . This allows you to move around freely and enjoy much larger scale AR experiences.
Read our blog post ARkit & ARcore… Apple and Google are finally jumping into augmented reality for a more in-depth information on these points.
ARKit is able to do all this due to the fact that it detects planes. In other words, it is starting to understand your world using your normal camera to detect horizontal planes. The next wave of development will bring the depth camera, as used in a Microsoft Kinect or Microsoft Hololens, which are more currently aimed at commercial use. These use infrared to accurately detect where all the surfaces are in a room, including walls and obstacles. The iPhone X is the first major mobile device that has a depth camera in it so we expect to see some exciting things happening in this area. We will talk about this more in the next few month, so keep a look out for our blogs posts on this topic.
So what does all of this mean to our clients?
Well, there are a number of benefits:
- ARKit gives us the capability of making certain applications that were previously impossible possible and those that were difficult, much easier! For example, we have recently developed an app for a client which allows them to virtually place an item in a store so that they are able to trial what that item would look like in the store without them having to physically place the item. This won’t be the answer for everyone however, and there will still be a segment of the market that will require image tracking to, for example, activate AR experiences from their branded material.
- Consumers are becoming more aware of, comfortable with, and interested in, AR. So, just as we’ve gone through developments within the marketing sphere where the ‘must have’ was a website, then a social media presence and an app, very soon consumers will expect, and therefore demand, AR experiences from the brands and companies that they interact with.
“AR enhances your world and adds value to the life that you’re living’
Our MD, Jason Ried, was recently interviewed by Divan Botha on Winslyn, KykNET 144. They were discussing his thoughts and insights on the impact and future growth of AR and VR globally and locally:
While all of the above is very exciting and developers are jumping in feet first to provide AR services, it is very important to select a developer that can partner with you to ensure that the end result is meaningful, fun and engaging, while using analytics to retain users and provide insight valuable to your business. Fuzzy Logic are award-winning AR experts and have been developing AR experiences for nearly 7 years, founded on a background of AAA rated video gaming experience in the UK. We have worked with some of the best known companies in the world and would be delighted to talk to you about how you too can harness the power of AR for your brand or business. Contact us now to kick start your 2018 AR project.
For many, their phone has become synonymous with making their life run smoother as well as providing entertainment at the touch of a button. Previously games dominated the top downloaded charts on App Stores, but 2017 was a great year for non-gaming apps, seeing them account for around 50% of the charts. As at the time of writing, the top 10 free downloaded apps on the South African App Store are:
- Knife Hit (Games)
- Splashy (Games)
- Sweatcoin (Health and Fitness)
- YouTube (Photo and Video)
- Instagram (Photo and Video)
- Messenger (Social Networking)
- Facebook (Social Networking)
- Snapchat (Photo and Video)
- GMail – Email by (Productivity)
- HQ – Live Trivia Game (Games)
As you can see from the list above, 70% of the apps are non-gaming apps. It should also be noted that apps that facilitate video streaming (e.g. YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat) did extremely well.
So why this sudden surge in popularity for non-games apps? Well Apple changed the design of the App Store and did away with top grossing charts in the device app store. This broke the cycle of the top grossing apps (mostly games) getting all the visibility and in turn the most downloads, resulting in more revenue and thereby staying at the top of the grossing charts.
2017 also saw the fruits of Apple restructuring the way they pay developers for content. In 2016 they reduced payment percentages on developer fees, by introducing subscriptions to their pricing options. This resulted in developers getting paid more after one year (Apple’s 30% is reduced to 15% when the user has paid for the subscription for more than one year). These subscriptions were key as it resulted in developers earning a regular income per month plus increased income due to reduced Apple fees. Why are subscriptions so important for consumers? Nearly everyone at some point has gone a bit crazy overspending on in-app purchases and had their heart in their mouth when they checked their monthly credit card bill…or has children who have been a little overzealous, with the same result! Subscriptions are safer as they allow the consumer to sign up for an app, pay a fixed amount regularly and not worry about in-app purchases. This is especially useful for parents who are worried about monitoring what their kids are spending within an app!
Apple then announced in November that the latest update iOS11 will allow developers to offer introductory pricing for auto-renewable subscription apps, which is a great way of encouraging consumers to try out an app, before paying full price through autopay. It’s also a nice middle ground between offering free-to-play and a full-price subscription. These changes have been welcomed as a more sustainable way for developers to earn money from their apps.
Again, I hear you ask ‘but what does this mean to us?’. Well, the changes above mean:
- There is more space for featuring, being promoted and generally finding organic users within the App Store, thereby increasing the likelihood of consumers downloading your app. Games no longer dominate the top charts and it’s therefore easier for consumers to find new apps.
- There are new, more sustainable ways of making money from an app.
- Increased adoption of apps by parents as they no longer have to worry about monitoring in-app purchases. The kids’ apps and games arena has always been a difficult audience to monetize and these changes go along way to solve that.
With more options open to you, it’s about finding the right monetization strategy and that is where we at Fuzzy Logic come into our own. We will work with you to understand your business and help you to decide on the best and most profitable monetization strategy for your app. So, contact us now to discuss your app ideas.
For the past 5 years, developing a free-2-play game which monetizes well has involved having a map system (think Candy Crush). Players progress along the map, unlock new content and are rewarded for progress. This has been true for years, with the bulk of top performing games using this system. However, this is starting to change with developers removing maps in favour of community style competitions (or clans). Instead of progressing on a map, you progress in relation, competition or in cooperation with your peers. So where maps compared progress against other people (probably by linking Facebook friends), clans are more about a sense of community, both through cooperation and competition.
Facebook is also becoming less important. The main reason? They changed their rules around how you share your activity within a game and invite people – finally we can bid farewell to annoying game invites taking up your news feed! Developers can no longer use these types of invites for viral growth and are therefore having to rely on creating internal communities, using all social media networks – for example WhatsApp is a very effective way of connecting people to each other.
What impact does this have? These changes make communities critical to games again, which brings with it the benefits of networking and word of mouth as people chat about what they are playing and encourage their friends to play, rather than rely on facebook notifications and shares.
So with such an exciting 2017 behind us, what do we think is coming up in 2018? We’ll be sharing our thoughts in our next blog, so watch this space. In the meantime, we’d love to hear from you if you have a new project in mind so send us a mail!