The difference between Markerbased & Markerless Augmented Reality (AR)

Table of Contents

The remarkable feature of Augmented Reality(AR) combines the virtual world and the digital world in a variety of ways. The two most popular ways are marker-based AR and markerless AR. The AR applications in the early days of their evolution were mostly marker based. With the onset of markerless AR, it enjoys to be the new favourite of brands and developers alike because of a variety of reasons.

AR is moving to a brand new era. The number of users with mobile phones are increasing and these phones have advanced technologies like better processors, higher screen resolution, empowered with features like accelerometers, GPS and digital compasses.  

Improving the user experience with respect to a brand is only possible when a holistic picture lives in the mind of the customer. When a user uses a mobile app and interacts with a brand, the user creates a perception of the brand. AR can help influence this perception in many unprecedented and positive ways.

Several questions might arise about making AR an integral part of the marketing strategy of a brand. We need to understand how we can overlay the digital content onto real-world objects. For instance, where do we overlay the digital content within the live camera view, or where do we precisely place the content?

With various available types of AR such as marker-based AR, markerless AR, and more, we are here to help you achieve your marketing goals with the help of a full-fledged platform called Vossle

What is Markerless Augmented Reality (AR)?

When Ikea places a piece of furniture or when you play Pokemon Go to put a pokemon in the live camera view of your device, then we can see the wonders of markerless AR. The impeccable markerless AR enables the digital transformation via scanning the scenario or environment without the necessity of a trigger picture to load the AR content. Thus, we can try various combinations of objects and styles, and locations. 

Markerless AR utilizes a concept called SLAM – simultaneous location and mapping which helps to place the AR overlay wherever we want as long as the surface is a flat surface. Hence, we would need our camera to be able to recognize the flat surface. Thus, for computer vision to help identify the flat surface better, it should have a bit of texture. Hence, we cannot usually use markerless AR on monochromatic surfaces. 

Vossle allows you to create a rich AR experience using the markerless technology. It allows you to upload the 3D overlay object helping you to generate the link to the experience or the QR code which can be scanned using the camera. 

ProsCons
Markerless AR applications can move digital objects freely in the physical space. There is no need to scan a trigger/marker image.In markerless AR, the AR object may not make sense always floating in mid-air in any specific setting. 
For an impeccable immersive experience, the marker-less AR needs a surface with texture for computer vision to recognize it. In case the flat surface is not distinct from the surrounding area, the rendering of the AR overlay might be affected.
Markerless AR does not require an efficient object tracking system and provides a stable AR experience. A rich markerless AR experience can now be created because of a lot of advancements in cameras, algorithms, sensors and processors of mobile phones and tablets.

Some of the examples of markerless AR:

Each of the following provides a QR code along with a web browser link. Visit any one of the following, and hold the device camera to scan the QR code and you will already be able to see the magic in the air. Markerless AR can bring the brands to life like no technology before. 

Redbull – Scan the QR code below on your smartphone to view the Redbull WebAR Experience

Bingo – Scan the QR code below on your smartphone to view the Bingo WebAR Experience

Automotive – Scan the QR code below on your smartphone to view the Automotive WebAR Experience

KBC – Scan the QR code below on your smartphone to view the KBC WebAR Experience

Oral-B Scan the QR code below on your smartphone to view the Orab B WebAR Experience

Captain America- Scan the QR code below on your smartphone to view the Captain America WebAR Experience

Robot – Scan the QR code below on your smartphone to view the Robot WebAR Experience

What is Marker-based Augmented Reality (AR)?

When we see the 3D model tied to a real-world object, you can rightly guess that marker-based AR is in play at that instance. When you scan a static image on a newspaper, and the AR application overlays a digital object tied to the static image, then again, marker-based AR is in action. The scanner recognizes the static image almost instantly and displays the virtual object at a suitable location in the live camera view.

The motionless picture or design of an object which helps the device recognize which real-world object to tie the AR content to is popularly known as a trigger image or a marker. An AR application needs to scan the trigger images via a tablet or smartphone to avail of the AR effect.  The marker should have a lot of unique visual points and can be a bar code, a poster etc. Marker images can either be black & white to keep it distinct from the surroundings or colored depending on the use case.

The scan will display digital information such as video, animations, 3D objects, and more. Launching a WebAR marker-based application can be done with Vossle in a hassle free manner. Vossle allows you to upload any 3D objects & animations or 2D images, which will help create the AR effect and further upload the static image to the platform which can be used as a marker.

ProsCons
The marker-based AR ensures impeccable quality AR experiences.The marker-based AR works only when the camera is near the marker image. Moreover if the marker image reflects light then it causes troubles in overlaying the 3D object. 
If we create the marker image with enough unique marker points then the tracking is extremely stable and effortless.In case we move the scanner away from the marker image, the AR overlay disappears and the marker is usually scanned again. We can always go for extended tracking; however, it isn’t very smooth and creates issues. 
The AR overlay does not move a lot and remains stable.The marker image must have sharp contrast between the shades of various colors. Smooth color transition makes the recognition process more challenging. 
The marker-based AR is way easier to use from an end-user perspective as we simply scan the marker image and the 3D overlay appears.

SUGGESTED