AR: Bringing Creativity and Technology Together
As a leading contract-based job board, we know that our business clients are seeking a wide range of in-demand skills to meet their evolving needs and facilitate future growth. However, some of the most sought after skills right now include 3D modelling, computer vision, marker detection, mobile programming, and knowledge of SDKs… all of which form the foundation skills needed for AR.
What is AR?
AR, or augmented reality, is about finding the elusive middle ground between real life and VR, or virtual reality. While virtual reality transports us to a completely different word, AR is more about transforming the existing landscape to incorporate alternative aspects which aren’t really there. It’s been around in one way or another for many years, with early versions including hair colour, clothing, and makeup apps which overlay the selected appearance over a real photograph, altering the image with fabricated ideas.
Why is AR so Popular?
AR has been rapidly gaining popularity over the past few years, helping brands to ‘come to life’, quite literally in the eyes of their customers. AR takes brands from concept to reality; potential buyers don’t have to imagine what an item of furniture would look like in their home, for example… they can see it. It’s proving to be one of the most effective ways of engaging 21st century audiences, helping to bridge the notable disconnect between what messages customers want to receive, and what brands are delivering.
There has already been huge successes from brands such as IKEA, with their AR ‘Place’ app for home design, LEGO with their app which brings creations to life, and Pokemon Go, which overlays the magical world of the Pokemon universe onto the streets that we walk along each and every day.
Top Tips for Contractors
If you’re keen to break into the world of AR and secure a great contract, here are some useful tips:
Define Your Platform
If you’re new to AR, don’t try and do too much too soon. Instead, take some time to think about where your existing skills lie, and use this as a basis for developing new talents. If you’re a keen mobile developer, for example, define mobile as your platform and build from there. It’s also a good idea to have a quick think about what game engines, SDKs, and frameworks you’ll be most confident in using.
Hone Your Skills
With AR being a relatively new addition to the IT world, many of us won’t have learnt the base skills at university, or in previous roles, which means it’s essential to ensure you take the time to learn the terminology and start putting the practices to work. You’ll want to start with the basics of 3D modelling, along with learning the language of your engine, SDK, and framework, and focus on UI/UX for AR/VR.
Find Your Niche
As we can see from the likes of Pokemon Go, there are already a great number of AR/VR game apps, but businesses are starting to look beyond this, targeting areas such as education, data visualisation, and 360 degree experiences. The key is to practice and gain experience in different areas, which will eventually lead you to your niche and your unique set of AR skills which you can market to local organisations.
Engage with AR Communities
With AR still very much in its early days, the technology is changing all the time. As a contractor, it is essential to keep up-to-date with the latest news and evolution of the industry, and engaging in AR communities is a great way to do just that. Have a look for any meetups that are scheduled in your local area, participate in forums and chats, discuss issues with other developers and join the community.
At a time when businesses are still very much on the fence about adopting AR technology, it’s important to be proactive and search for opportunities that will enable you to not only hone your skills but also to contribute towards the revolution of the AR industry. At Contract Recruit, we’re seeing more and more businesses coming to us with AR positions, so keep checking the listings to see what roles are available.