Today we’re gonna discuss the Augmented Reality SDKs which are currently in the trends to develop Augmented Reality Apps in Unity for various platforms. Before continuing, I would like to give a brief information about Augmented Reality if you don’t know what it is.
Augmented reality (AR) is an interactive experience of a real-world environment where the objects that reside in the real world are enhanced by computer-generated perceptual information, sometimes across multiple sensory modalities, including visual, auditory, haptic, somatosensory and olfactory. Here’s the explanation video by Tedx Talks:
Now, I’m shifting to Augmented Reality SDKs which is the focus of this article. There are lots of Augmented Reality SDKs available for developing apps in Unity for multiple platforms. Here, I’m gonna list and discuss the most popular and trending SDKs.
ARKit is an Augmented Reality kit developed by Apple for creating AR experiences for iDevices(iPhone, iPad). It provides access to the device’s camera and sensors necessary to create AR experiences.
It uses Visual Inertial Odometry to track the world around your iDevice which enables the device to sense how it moves in a room.
ARKit can detect horizontal planes like tables and floors. Also vertical planes like walls can be detected. This helps users to place virtual objects on those surfaces in your physical room.
ARCore is developed by Google for creating AR experiences in Android devices. ARCore enables your phone to sense its environment, understand the world and interact with information. Some of the APIs are available across Android and iOS to enable shared AR experiences.
ARCore uses three key capabilities to integrate virtual content with the real world as seen through your phone’s camera:
ARCore’s motion tracking technology uses the phone’s camera to identify interesting points, called features, and tracks how those points move over time. With a combination of the movement of these points and readings from the phone’s inertial sensors, ARCore determines both the position and orientation of the phone as it moves through space.
In addition to identifying key points, ARCore can detect flat surfaces, like a table or the floor, and can also estimate the average lighting in the area around it. These capabilities combine to enable ARCore to build its own understanding of the world around it.
Vuforia Engine created by PTC is a platform for AR development, which supports leading phones, tablets, and eyewear. It allows developers to use advanced computer vision functionality for creating AR experiences and apps for Android, iOS, and UWP (Universal Windows Platform), that realistically interact with objects and the environment.
MAXST AR SDK allows developers to develop augmented reality apps. It includes six key features of the SDK for recognizing and tracking 2D images and 3D spaces. It also includes a cloud server-based image recognition feature and AR Fusion Tracker with the powerful tracking of ARKit / ARCore. It supports Android, iOS as well as Wearable devices.
Wikitude is an Augmented Reality engine used to make AR apps on native as well as cross-platform tools. It allows developers to use the functionality such as 3D model rendering, location based AR and video overlay. It also provides SLAM technology (simultaneous localisation and mapping) which facilitates seamless object tracking and recognition alongside markerless instantaneous tracking. The Wikitude SDK works across multiple platforms and is currently available to support Windows OS, iOS, Android and a number of HUD’s (heads up displays).
Onirix is a platform that allows you to create different types of augmented reality experiences in a fast and easy way. Onirix consists of three different components: Onirix Studio, a web application to manage all your projects and contents, Onirix Player which is the way to show your experiences from the browser (WebAR) or through native apps for iOS and Android, and Onirix SDK, a Source Development Kit to create your own augmented reality applications. it allows to create virtual layers over reality with the purpose of enhancing or augmenting it.
Finally, I want to present a comparison chart of all the SDKs:
Thank you for reading. Meet you in the next article. Till then take care and don’t forget to tell me your thoughts about which SDK suits you in the comments.