AR and VR are often being touted as part of the ‘future’. Technology as always strived to interact and simulate reality in more and more ways and AR and VR are seen as the next step. The demand and markets for AR and VR are growing as well. Digi-Capital reports that we’re looking at a potential $80 billion to $90 billion AR/VR market by 2023. The main component of the success of AR and VR is the availability of smartphones. AR especially has become accessible to app developers as highlighted in our blog.
One of the biggest challenges currently facing AR/VR apps is QA testing. The change in technology and tools means that the familiar ways of testing no longer work as well. This guide will go through the challenges of testing AR/VR apps and how to address them.
How to test AR and VR
Lots of trial and error
The main thing about AR and VR is that they’re based in reality. More so than any other type of app they rely on human perception. Detecting bugs and issues with the app and how they interact with the ‘reality’ aspect will often be very subjective to the person. That means that a lot of the testing involved will be as simple as trial and error. Just by using the app to test out its behavior will be the bread and butter when it comes to testing.
This has always been the case of any emerging technology until dedicated testing tools are made to help ease the process. And even then trial and error manual testing doesn’t completely go away it’s still an essential part of testing.
Another important aspect of testing VR especially is to record sessions. Recording the sessions gives more perspective on debugging. Streaming a session giving an outside look to others also helps get a different look at issues. Letting devs and other testers see what your seeing will allow for a more Agile testing approach. Often times issues won’t be detected straight away which is why it’s important to be able to recall recordings of sessions for devs and testers.
Automation testing tools for UI and other things
There are still aspects in every AR/VR app that testing tools have figured out. Automated testing tools can be used for UI tests as well as performance tests. Adapting already existing tools to help test that which can be tested can go a long way to speeding up the testing phase and ensure the quality of your app.
AR has to consider the environment
The integration of ‘reality’ into apps adds an extra dynamic that needs serious consideration during testing. AR/VR apps and especially AR need to account for the environment that they are testing in. The simple addition of a camera into the mix means that aspects such as lighting and different spaces all interact with the app. Testing the app in different environments is the best solution to the challenge bearing in mind all the variables that might be impacted by the environment.
VR needs to test for motion sickness
One of the biggest challenges facing VR as technology is virtual reality sickness. Humans are just not used to be completely submerged into a different reality. Depending on how much that reality moves around could lead to varying levels of motion sickness. It’s important to keep this in mind and to test for it to ensure that users with the final product dont experience any discomfort.
Test a wide range of devices
The importance of testing on a wide range of devices isn’t anything new or special to AR/VR apps. It cannot be stressed enough and especially with how resource-heavy AR/VR apps are. Considerations and a wide range of testing need to be done with different devices and due to the nature of AR/VR apps, it’s not as easy as running an emulator. Different devices have different camera capabilities for AR and will interact differently due to that, so it’s important to rigorously test out a wide array of devices.
User feedback tools
As we’ve already established it’s going to be challenging to get your AR/VR app to perform like you’re expecting it too. One of the things you will need most in your toolkit is a feedback reporting tool. Through testing and even after releasing, having a way for testers and users to report bugs or simply send feedback will go a long way. Being able to detect problems quickly and have the insights needed to improve on your app is essential in such new technology.