Hosting Solutions for Augmented Reality Experiences

June 7, 2024 / Web Hosting


Augmented Reality (AR), the blending of real and virtual experiences, has become an increasingly useful tool for businesses, enabling them to provide more immersive content on their websites and mobile apps. In this post, we look at the benefits of AR and explain the hosting solutions you will need to consider if you wish to offer these experiences to your visitors and customers.

The benefits of AR

While you may associate AR with games like Pokémon Go, from a business perspective, it can be a powerful selling tool. Today, Ikea and other furniture companies provide AR apps that let customers see what their products will look like in their homes. This helps them understand whether the products will be the right size for their rooms and whether they will match with other items of furniture already there. Offering this kind of experience helps customers choose the right products, which can be highly beneficial given the issues for both businesses and customers when the wrong items are purchased and returned.

Ikea is by no means the only company using AR to help its customers. The Dulux Visualiser app makes it easier to choose paint colours, while Carpetright is one of many companies using it to show different types of flooring. At the same time, Specsavers, Vision Express and other opticians now offer AR try-on apps where users can check out which frames best suit their faces, all without going to a store. Meanwhile, brands like L’Oréal and Tresemme, together with a multitude of hair salons, use AR to let customers experiment with different hairstyles and colours. Amazon, understandably, has also begun to use AR for try-ons of its fashion items; however, this is currently only available in the US.

AR is not just being used for online purchases. Tesco is using it to gamify in-store shopping by adding AR capabilities to its shopping app. Here customers take part in ‘games’ that involve scanning products and taking challenges to earn Clubcard points. Meanwhile, visitors to Nike stores can use VR to scan items and find more details about them, while BMW customers can use its AR app to customise their cars.
While there are countless possible applications for AR, it offers genuine benefits for customers, particularly in helping them choose the right products and in making shopping a more enjoyable and engaging experience. Adopting this technology can, therefore, reduce returns and boost sales and customer loyalty.

Deploying AR

To offer these types of experiences to customers, businesses will first need an AR application that fulfils their requirements. The cost of the app depends on your approach to procuring it. As with websites, you can now use AR app builder tools to create your own app. If you lack the know-how to use these programs you can either hire a developer or make use of an off-the-shelf white-label AR app that you can customise for your own business. Both of these options, however, are likely to be more expensive than building your own app.

One important consideration here is that your app is compatible with the devices your customers will use. This means making sure it works on both current and future versions of Android, Windows and iOS. If it is used on your website, it will also need to be compatible with your website software, for example, WordPress.

Domain Name

Once the app is completed and ready for deployment, companies will also need to consider how this will affect their current hosting requirements. In the rest of this article, we look at what this involves.

AR hosting requirements

AR apps need to carry out some complex processing that involves combining both real-world and virtual data. For example, if it is used to show a different range of paint colours for a wall, it must be able to take information from the users’ camera, detect where the walls are in the room, and display the chosen colour accurately on the walls taking into consideration the room’s lighting. To be realistic, it must also detect anything between the camera and the wall, such as furniture or mirrors so that they are not painted over.

This level of processing, especially if it is being used by many customers simultaneously, will need servers that can handle large amounts of data and process it quickly in order to render the AR content effectively. Given that the images being processed can include customers’ faces or the inside of their homes, security is also paramount to ensure this personal data isn’t compromised. Additionally, given the large amount of data that will be generated by an AR app, companies also need to consider how they will store it, manage it and back it up.

The primary choices in terms of infrastructure are between dedicated servers or cloud hosting. In terms of processing power and speed, dedicated servers have the advantage in that companies can choose the specification that best fulfils their processing needs and have the server optimised for their application. However, the cloud is the better choice for cost-effectiveness. With on-demand, pay-as-you-go scalability, the app will always have the resources required to handle traffic peaks while being able to scale down during less busy times. The cloud also offers flexible, cost-effective storage, 100% uptime and autonomous backup solutions. Of course, companies can always opt for a hybrid solution where data is stored and managed in the public cloud and processed on dedicated servers or a private cloud.

For more information, read: Cloud Hosting or Dedicated Server – Which is Best For You

When it comes to security, one key factor is the choice of hosting provider. Regardless of whether you opt for dedicated server or cloud hosting, a good service provider will have robust security measures in place to keep your data safe. These will include advanced firewalls, intrusion and infection prevention, antivirus and data encryption in transit and at rest. Of course, businesses also have their responsibilities when it comes to security, including implementing access control, two-factor authentication, strong password policies and training on the various threats.

Stay secure, read: Web Hosting Security Threats 2024 – How to Keep Your Website Protected

Another option to consider is a managed hosting solution. With these kinds of solutions, the hosting provider carries out a range of server admin tasks normally undertaken by the company, for instance, operating system updates and patching, server monitoring and server optimisation. These reduce the burden on businesses while ensuring that the server is protected from vulnerabilities and that it provides optimal performance. Considering the complexity of the application and the more advanced solutions needed to run an AR app than a website, 24/7 technical support is also an essential requirement when choosing a hosting provider.

Unsure about managed hosting? Read: Why Managed Hosting is Beneficial for eCommerce Businesses


Augmented reality offers businesses the opportunity to showcase their products and engage audiences in realistic and immersive ways. Unlike virtual reality, which often requires users to have specialised gadgets like VR headsets, AR can be accessed using apps available on everyday devices like PCs, smartphones and tablets. This availability makes them ideal for businesses wanting to offer AR experiences to a wide audience. To put AR to work, however, companies not only need the right app, but the right hosting solution from the right provider. Hopefully, from reading this article, you’ll now have a clearer understanding of what you need to consider.

For more information about our managed hosting solutions, take a look at our Dedicated Server and Cloud Hosting options.


  • Pooja Kulkarni

    I'm experienced SEO specialist. With a focus on the technical aspects of SEO, I work to enhance website's visibility and overall performance seamlessly.

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