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Software Testing of Augmented Reality Apps

Software Testing

How Augmented Reality is Changing the Testing Dynamics?

Today, many organizations are working tirelessly to gain footing in the world of augmented reality in order to up the ante and one up the other. There are many applications, supported by android and IOS systems, that facilitate the augmented reality features and aspects. Through the adequate use of in-built cameras in the smartphone, GPS system, compass, gyroscope, accelerometer, and other sensors that are available in mobile phones, users are able to experience real time interactions. The extensive use of augmented reality features that are integrated with various components of smartphones and browsers might give an edge to companies but they also prove to challenge when it comes to maintaining quality.

Testing for augmented reality is unchartered territory for many quality assurance managers as the typical software testing tools are not suited to this technology. Owing to their interactive nature, the augmented reality applications are generally unsuitable for normal automated testing methodologies, while the manual testing processes are not only resource-intensive, but they are also physically draining.

The Challenges of Testing Augmented Reality Applications

In comparison to an average application, the quality standards for augmented reality technology Augmented reality is no longer a futuristic fantasy that you see only in science fiction movies. Instead it has materialized into reality that has managed to infiltrate consumer markets, especially software industries, available for the use of millions of smartphone users. Based on the technology of augmented reality, a composite view is generated for the users by the system in which the real view which is actually experienced by the user is combined with the virtual view produced by the computer to enhance and augment the reality with additional information.

Even though there are some similarities between augmented reality and virtual reality, the underlying difference between the two technologies is that in virtual reality, the user has a very little role to play and the entire reality is replaced by a computer generated view for the user. Whereas, augmented reality uses system generated information to enhance the quality and user experience of the real world and users’ perception of reality.are not only much more stringent, but the testing processes are also more complex.

There are many different factors which have to be incorporated in the procedure in order to create the proper testing environment. From testing it under the right lighting conditions to integrating the application with multiple objects, there are many test case scenarios and execution conditions as opposed to standard applications. In addition to that, the entire testing process is bound to be more time-consuming and cost-intensive since there are many factors and aspects which have to be taken into consideration. Some of the components which the testers have to sync well with the augmented reality application and ensure that they function smoothly, comprise of front and rear camera, microphone, memory, screen orientation, operating system, battery consumption etc.

Furthermore, it is also important for the quality assurance managers to make sure that real devices and systems are used in the testing process instead of emulators so that the actual user experience can be tested. The wide array of conditions that are in place for the usability of the augmented reality application is what essentially complicates the entire testing procedure. In addition to the normal testing tasks, the quality assurance managers have to take different cases in account, like a poorly lit room, slow internet, anything that might block the camera, or using the application while constantly moving.

Solution for Testing AR Apps Effectively

The regular software testing tools do not suffice when testing these technologies. Instead, the challenge of testing software, hardware, and application separately and in sync, in the augmented reality space necessitates creative solutions, innovative thinking, and a robust combination of visual acuity and technical skills. The quality assurance team has to ascertain that the testing milestones are clearly defined and the deliverables in the solution are designed to cater to the needs of the project. The team has to develop a system so that maximum test coverage is ensured and specialized test case writers are required to warrant effectiveness of the testing process. Moreover, the efforts of the testing team should be coordinated with the agile development process in order to optimize the release velocity. Multiple hardware, operating systems, and browsers should be available for testing the augmented reality application to make sure that it runs seamlessly under varying conditions and environments. 

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