Technology is constantly advancing, and one of the best ways to future-proof your career is by learning technologies that will likely be the next big in a couple of years. Right now, the next big thing that experts and big tech companies are betting on is Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and Mixed Reality (XR). Unity is the most popular tool to create these innovative type of experiences.
These three technologies will have a massive impact on the next generation of the internet, which many refer to as the metaverse. Unity is one of the popular platforms used to create cross-platform AR and VR games. So, why should a designer be interested in learning Unity? Let me explain;
Unity is free!
Unlike other design software, Unity is free to use. Unity offers a “freemium” model. Creators can build apps and experiences for free if they are for learning or using it for a hobby. For commercial work, Unity has a reasonable “revenue” based system. Unity also has a marketplace of assets and plugins called “unity store” where beginner unity users can get started by downloading free 2d or 3d, plugins and bundles.
Unity as a “creator engine”
For many years, Unity’s main market was the indi and mobile video game industry. Since its inception in 2005 at the Apple WDC as an exclusive game engine for MacOS, the company has grown exponentially to offer cross platform and cross device features including a vast ecosystem of community plugins and packages. In addition, Unity quickly started to work with major manufacturers and software makers to create SDK and integrations to make the creation of immersive experiences more accessible to users. Today Unity has evolved to be a “creator engine”. Recently, Unity acquired the technical arm of Weta Digital, the group behind the special effects for iconic movies such Lord of the Rings.
Unity is easy to learn
A big part of Unity’s commitment, is education. Currently Unity has free education paths available in all areas of its platform, from game development, programming with c# and Virtual Reality. There is also a thriving community of creators in YouTube and online schools, such metaverseacademy.io that are training the next generation of digital creators.
In 2020, Unity started the Unity Charitable Fund, to deepen their commitment to social responsibility. As part of this fund, there are resources dedicated to exclusively for bringing education to classrooms across the world. Unity also has a robust Educator program that offers training and support for teachers at all levels.
Unity commitment to make their platform accessible to all creators, has driven the company to make strategic acquisitions that make getting started with Unity more beginner friendly. One of those acquisitions is BOLT, a visual scripting tool that is now part of Unity. This tool allows creators to produce interactive experience with a “low-code” system of actions and triggers.
Unity is in the top 20 professional skills in most demand
As the Unity platform is being used for in more digital channels, there is a increasing demand for designers with Unity skills. Unity skill currently ranks in 14th place of the most in demand skills accordingly to LinkedIn.
More companies are starting to integrate AR into their digital marketing strategy
As I have shared earlier, AR and VR are the next big thing in technology. Several mobile apps, including games, are now integrating more AR features into their functionality in order to make them more engaging. Companies are increasing their investment in these space, hiring agencies or building their own internal VR/AR teams. As a designer, you need to understand how AR works if you are to create great apps that use this technology.
Unity is one of the biggest platforms for creating Augmented Reality applications. So, learning how to use this platform would be a good start for anyone who wants to design applications that use AR.
Hardware to power AR and VR experience is getting better and more accessible
As more companies are investing resources into building better hardware to power AR and VR experience, the need for creating software that takes advantage of this hardware becomes even more urgent.
For example, the latest smartphones have way too much power to enable AR and VR experiences that developers and designers are yet to take advantage of. In the next couple of years, we should see more applications built to put this hardware to good use.
It is fun
Creating apps and games that integrate AR is fun, and Unity is the leading platform that enables this. If you want to be part of the designer and developer community that creates AR apps and games that are fun to use, learning Unity is the way to go.
Learn Mixed Reality with Unity
Course starting in spring 2022