Augmented Reality Developers
Exploring this Job
There are many ways to learn more about augmented reality and careers in the field. You can read books (such as Virtual & Augmented Reality For Dummies, by Paul Mealy) and watch videos (at YouTube.com and other sites).
If you own a smartphone, download an AR app and try out a specific application such as Pokémon Go, Google Lens, View Ranger, or Snapchat Lenses.
Take free or low-cost courses about AR at Udacity, Coursera, or other online learning platforms.
Participate in a summer program in augmented reality, virtual reality, mixed reality (MR), game design, or a related field at a college or university. Many schools offer exploratory programs for high school students. Some are free, while others require a program fee. These programs provide students with a great way to learn more about a particular field, experience life on a college campus, and make new friends and networking contacts.
The career of augmented reality developer is not just a single profession, but a variety of specialized workers with different types of skills and training who work together to create AR software and hardware. Burning Glass Technologies, an analytics software company, reports that the most-popular AR career paths include software developers/engineers, followed by mobile applications developers, and computer systems engineers/architects. Software developers and engineers design and develop AR software that has many applications—from gaming and sales presentations to construction, tourism, and health care. Mobile applications developers design and build apps for mobile devices, which include smartphones, tablet computers, e-readers, and wearables. Computer systems engineers/architects design and develop complex AR systems that are comprised of both software and hardware. Examples include Microsoft HoloLens and Daqri Smart Glasses.
Other career paths include engineering technicians and technologists, who handle basic research and testing so that engineers and developers can tackle “big picture” issues; 3–D modelers, who create and implement models, textures, and animations; testers, who assess the quality and functionality of AR products during various developmental stages; audio engineers and technicians, who develop the audio systems and sound effects for AR devices; and computer vision engineers and scientists, who use machine learning and other types of artificial intelligence—as well as their mathematical expertise—to develop technology that allows AR devices to gather and assess information from the real world in order to deliver the intended AR experience.