WE/AR Blog How Much Does AR Cost: What Influence the Price of the AR Solution
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How Much Does AR Cost: What Influence the Price of the AR Solution

By Oleg Boiko
10 min read
e-commerce ar

The cost of augmented reality solutions is a tricky topic that companies are interested in. As anything that works well and creates innovations, AR is an investment. Companies from every industry make this investment to impress their audience and gain more attention and profits. Generally, AR could cost over $7000 to $250,000 (in large-scale enterprise solutions). The amount of money needed to create an AR solution depends on many factors, such as the type of AR application, complexity, and the project’s longevity.

Key factors affecting the cost of AR

Any project requires thorough planning of costs and processes, and the same is with AR. While planning the solution, you should consider important factors such as the type of your AR development

Most companies are looking into the mobile application knowing that people use phones more than their desktop devices. The mobile AR app makes the solution accessible from any place and time. However, web AR appeared on the radar as the development was even more interesting as it allows the target audience to see the solution without spending time on app downloading. Still, mobile applications are considered a safer choice now.

While other factors matter when planning the cost of AR, such as the complexity of the project, the number of specialists involved, and the time it takes to complete the project, the type of solution is the most important because it determines all other factors.

What type of AR app can you choose

While AR is relatively new on the market, you would be surprised how many types of AR app types exist to choose from.

Location-Based AR

Location-Based AR
Source: shutterstock.com

Location-based AR is a type of AR that is tied to a specific location. It could be anything from a specific GPS coordinate to a place like a landmark or a store. When someone opens up an AR app and points their phone at that location, they will see AR content specific to that spot. Some technologies used in location-based AR include using digital compasses, GPS, accelerometers, and other tools to identify a particular location.

Marker-Based AR

marker ar
Image from arpost.co

As the name suggests, the marker-based augmented reality applications work by scanning the marker system will recognize and show the solution developed to the customers. Based on this process, this type of AR app is also called recognition-based AR or image recognition.

Marker-Based AR with Animation

Like the previous type explained, this AR app also works by recognizing a marker that sends signals to the system. It is worth mentioning in this article because the animated solution will always affect the cost of development. Conversely, the simple solution showing audience text and pictures will be more accessible regarding cost.

Marker-less AR

Markerless AR Retail
Image from content26.com

Markerless AR application is the one that doesn’t require any physical marker to turn on the system. It can work from any place or time, depending on when the user wants to use it. This application doesn’t need information about the user’s environment to overlay the virtual content into the real world.

Projection-Based AR

Projection-based AR refers to extending and reinforcing visual data by displaying the 3D objects and images on the selected surface. The projection-based solution uses projectors to show the 3D content to the users. Projector mapping techniques make use of any additional devices unnecessary, and, consequently, the solution is more accessible to the people.

Superimposition-Based AR

superimposition-based ar
Source: shutterstock.com

One great thing about superimposition-based AR is that it capitalizes on object recognition above anything else. The crucial feature is that this AR type fully replaces 3D images and visuals over the original image. Since this type has a wide range of use cases, it can be applied in tours, medical applications, and more.

Outlining-Based AR

Image from hammburg.com

The outlining-based augmented reality applications are used frequently in the car industry, for instance, to invent something that can help with safe driving. This type of AR solution can help human eyes to see boundaries and outlines of objects when the environment might suggest troubles in vision.


slam ar
Source: venturebeat.com

Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM) lies at the core of AR applications. It allows the system to recognize where the 3D object will be situated for the user to see. SLAM allows locating the device and creating a map of the environment where the user is situated.

How content influences augmented reality app development cost

The type of development is only the first step in determining the cost of the AR solution. What you want users to see and experience is also a significant influence.

The most common types of AR content are:

  • Video. You can show 2D videos to your audience with any information you want them to know. It may be suitable for advertising or as a part of the event.
  • 3D Model.The common use of AR is placing 3D models into the real environment. Companies often turn to this solution when planning product launches, making important announcements, or, in general, wanting to attract attention to the brand.
  • Animation. 3D animation allows placing animated objects or even telling the whole animated story to the real world using devices. This solution is more complex, certainly impacting the final augmented reality price.
  • 360 Video. This type of content immerses people into the most authentic experience of 360 videos. It’s costly but allows users to take the most out of using the application.

The complexity of the AR app

A general rule of thumb is that AR’s project complexity determines the final price estimations. The more layers go into creating the right image, the more time it will take for the developers to create the solution. There is also a point worth mentioning – the longevity of the project. It takes some time to make a model or animation to show people only once, but it takes even more time and energy to create and maintain something lasting. For instance, AR games take a lot of time to strategize, plot, create, analyze and maintain. However, they result in a unique project.

Why software licenses influence the cost of AR project

Developing an application is not enough because making it accessible to your target audience is another important task. People use different devices and browsers, each of them requiring different approaches.


Unity was first developed for the Mac OS X game engine, which is prevalent in supporting different desktop, mobile and virtual technology developments. It is considered an easy solution for beginner game developers, so many companies choose it. To use Unity Pro, a company subscription to the latest set of tools, you will have to give $1800 per year.


It’s a software library for the development of AR apps. The most important thing for augmented reality apps is to make the correct calculations for the virtual visual overlay and for the viewpoint that will draw the virtual imagery. ARToolKIt solves this problem and helps make it right. The unexpected bonus is that the software is free to use. You can take advantage of the free version and then upgrade to get more features if you’d like.


Some developers turn to Vuforia engine, which is as popular and powerful as Unity. Vuforia aims to specialize in industrial enterprise solutions and meet the workforce challenges with technology. Using computer vision to recognize and track 3D images helps position the images in real life.

Like the ARToolKit, Vuforia offers a free basic version, but you can upgrade to the Premium plan by paying $99 per month.


If you want to create your first AR application, it might be good to turn to the smaller software developers, such as Kudan, rather than choose the most popular ones using which the AR could cost more. Apart from the business license that costs $1500 per year, Kudan offers an enterprise license that can vary in price — to get it, you should contact the company directly.


Many developers go to Wikitude, an AR software development kit offering cross-platform support and working with different platforms such as Unity and JavaScript. Applications made with Wikitude can track multiple images or objects and offer geo support for markerless solutions.

Wikitude has several pricing options, including the custom enterprise ones. You can buy Pro 3D software for one-time use for €2490 or subscribe to the software with updates for €2990.

Apple ARKit

Apple developed an AR kit explicitly programmed for the applications created for iOS. The only downside will be that the users of other platforms won’t have a chance to experience your application. Using Apple ARKit is free for users that have Developer Program accounts that cost $99.

Google ARCore

Google created the platform where making augmented reality applications never seemed more manageable. You can see the guides and beginner’s development resources to help you understand your needs. Especially helpful that Google integrates with Unity, Apple, and Android software programs. If you have an Android platform, you can use Google ARCore for free.


AR cloud solution that allows making the whole landscape worlds in virtual reality, EasyAR, as the name suggests, makes the process simple. Pepsi, Vogue, and KFC are among the companies that chose it to make their solution. You can work with the application for free if you plan to use it for personal purposes. However, if you want to buy a license, it will cost you $1399. You have to buy it only once and use it permanently.


Maxst offers almost all required features for the developers, including image and marker tracking, barcode readers, and SLAM. You can get a Maxst package for a one-time purchase for $699 or subscribe for $49.9 per month.

Estimated cost for AR development

Now that you know how much AR can cost, you should consider all factors described above. However, in calculating those factors, you should remember that they will vary in location and complexity.

  • For instance, a simple AR application will cost from $7 000 to $50 000 to make, whereas, for the one with a more complex structure, content, and system, you would have to spend up to $200 000.
  • The most complex AR applications are augmented reality games. When they are more complex, they are more costly. For making those, be ready to spend a higher price, starting from $250 000.

Depending on the location, you will also find the costs vary. The rate of specialists in different countries is slightly different.

  • Specialists from the USA and Canada ask for the most significant hourly pay — from $100 to $250.
  • If you want to hire someone from Western Europe, expect to pay up to $150 per hour.
  • Specialists from Eastern Europe ask for different pay per hour depending on their experience and skills — from $25 to $100.
  • If you have a little budget for the project, you should look into specialists from Asia. They ask for up to $55 per hour.


AR app development costs can depend on various factors. That’s why it’s important to prepare everything in advance: decide on the software and content, look for the professional team that will make it for you, and determine the reasonable cost. It is much easier to understand the required budget and see how the final price can be changed when you know all the details.

At WE/AR Studio, we help companies from various industries to create AR solutions that will suit them and their budget. We are taking the project from the idea stage to the development and analysis. You can contact us at hello@wear-studio.com, and we will ensure our professionals will give you a consultation. During the talk, you could share all your concerns and plans to create the required solution.