Vuforia provides cross-platform augmented reality support for Android, iOS and UWP devices through a single API, so developers can write their apps once and run them with the best core technology available.
Since Unity 2017.2, Unity developers have been able to create Vuforia-enabled apps directly in the Unity editor with a simple authoring workflow and event-driven scripting. Vuforia integration included performance enhancements, tight ongoing synchronization of features and corrections, and a native Unity workflow that allows developers to focus on creating the best AR experiences.
With Unity 2017.3, we introduce support for Vuforia 7, which allows developers to attach digital content to even more types of objects and environments with model targets and ground planes, while ensuring the best possible experience across multiple devices and operating systems.
While ARCore and ARKit introduced basic features to enable AR on their scale, Unity 2017.3 and Vuforia 7 provide the building blocks to create innovative AR experiences and open up new categories of interactive applications. Developers can now reach millions of additional users and enhance AR experiences with advanced computer vision capabilities. We could never have imagined so many core technologies coming together to orchestrate such a beautiful symphony of easy-to-use workflows. This represents a real advance for AR and all from within the Unity Editor.
If you’re an experienced AR developer or just someone starting out with AR, you should learn more about Vuforia’s new features and try all the resources and assets listed below.
New features of Vuforia 7:
Vuforia Ground Plane (free) allows you to apply digital content to horizontal surfaces such as floors and tabletops in everyday environments. It is an ideal solution for creating games and product visualization applications that interact in the real world.
Developers can start building AR experiences with Ground Plane for ARKit-enabled iOS devices in Unity 2017.3. In Unity 2017.3 Patch 2, Ground Planes extends support to the broadest range of popular Android and iOS devices that can reach millions of additional users.
Model Targets is the latest development in Vuforia’s object recognition capabilities. With Model Targets, you no longer need detailed visual design to attach digital content, but can attach content to objects based on their shape. Model Targets also provides real-time 360º tracking and outstanding tracking robustness in a variety of environments, lighting conditions and distances.
Imagine creating an AR experience with objects such as cars, appliances and industrial equipment and machines. With Model Targets, for example, you can replace a user manual with visual instructions superimposed on the object.
Additional Vuforia features available in Unity 2017.3.
All features of the Vuforia AR app development platform are natively integrated into Unity. They can be found in the GameObject menu. With Vuforia’s game objects you can recognize and track images, objects and surfaces in their environment.
Below you can learn more about the features of Vuforia 7 integrated in Unity. And don’t forget that all of the assets listed below are available for free from the Unity Asset Store.
Image Targets are the easiest way to place AR content on flat objects such as magazine pages, trading cards and photos.
Cloud targets allow them to manage large collections of image targets from their own CMS. They are the best way to support product catalogs, print advertising and any other application that benefits from the easy versioning of large image sets.
Multi-targets are the best way to place AR content on objects with flat surfaces that can be viewed from multiple sides or contain multiple images. Product packaging, posters and wall paintings are great multi-targets.
Cylinder targets enable them to apply AR content to objects with cylindrical and conical shapes. Soda cans, bottles and tubes with printed designs are good candidates for cylinder targets.
Custom targets allow them to place content in the real world with a runtime camera image as the target. Users can create targets from images and surfaces located in their environment.
Object targets are 3D objects that can be detected and tracked as they are scanned. Object recognition works best with objects that are geometrically stable and have surface details.
VuMarks are specially designed AR markers that can encode data to support unique IDs, text, and byte data. VuMarks are a great way to identify unique instances of an object that are part of a series or collection. They are a popular solution for unlocking digital experiences for toys and retail products.
Additional Vuforia 7 functions.
Vuforia supports the widest range of Android, iOS and UWP handsets and headword devices with features such as hand tracking and stereo rendering.
Device Tracking – provides a robust inside-out device tracker for rotation head and hand tracking on standard devices.
Digital Glasses – Vuforia enables developers to create content for optical transparent head devices such as the Microsoft HoloLens, ODG R7 and the Vuzix m300.
AR+VR Stereo Rendering – Vuforia provides simple APIs to create immersive experiences that enable the transition between augmented and virtual reality.
- Download Unity 2017.3.0p2 here.
- During installation, make sure that you select “Vuforia Augmented Reality Support” when selecting the components.
- Create a new Unity project.
- Activate the option Vuforia Augmented Reality Support under PlayerSettings/XR.
- Replace the default main camera with an AR camera.
- Add an Image Target to this scene.
- Make its contents a child of the Image Target.
- Print the Astronaud card in the Editor/Vuforia/ForPrint/ImageTargets.
- Press Play and use your WebCam to see your content in the real world.
Notation. For AR+VR and stereo rendering applications, you also need to enable VR support in XR Settings and add Vuforia at the top of the list of VR SDKs. Add HoloLens at the top of this list when creating a Vuforia app for HoloLens.
It’s really that simple. Vuforia also offers a collection of high-quality assets that you can download for free from the Asset Store to learn the basics of AR development and familiarize yourself with some of the most important interactions.
We hope to be able to give you a first glimpse of Vuforia for Unity. If you have any questions or suggestions on this topic, please feel free to contact our experts in our forum.
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