Best AR SDK that Every AR Developer should know of…


As we all know AR is getting extremely popular day by day, let it be in the field of medicines or in entertainment, you can see AR almost everywhere… With the popularity of AR, there is a significant increase in the number of developers who want to pursue the path of AR Development. So via this article, we gonna list all the popular AR Development toolkits, by which you can make AR Apps.

Wikitude

Supported platforms: Android, iOS, Windows for tablets, smart glasses (Epson Moverio, Vuzix M100, ODG R-7).
Supported development frameworks: Native API, JavaScript API, Unity3D, Xamarin, Titanium, Cordova.

In April 2019, Wikitude release SDK 8.4, in which it introduced Plane detection, With Plane detection, you can create AR experiences that accurately anchor digital content to surfaces at any orientation.

– Horizontal Up (floor, carpet, table)
– Horizontal Down (ceiling)
– Vertical (walls, doors)
– Arbitrary (ramps)

With new Release, they have improved Image Recognition, developers can now expect faster recognition and higher performance in challenging conditions such as cluttered environments and variable lighting. Wikitude is constantly improving its product, adding more and more functional features in each release.

– Scene recognition (augment large objects for outdoor gaming, construction, etc.),
– isDeviceSupportedAPI: “isDeviceSupportedAPI” function to easily and quickly check if certain AR features run on a specific smart device or not.
– New extended recording and tracking of objects (scan and see augmented objects beyond markers),
– Instant targets (save and share instant augmentations),
– Unity live preview (AR-view feature into Unity editor to test the SDK features),
– Windows support.

Wikitude offers a free trial version offering the following features :

  • Wikitude SDK (Object Recognition, Scene Recognition, Instant Tracking, SMART, Image Recognition, and Tracking and Geo-AR)
  • License for Android, iOS, Windows devices and Smart glasses
  • Support for Extensions (Unity, Xamarin and PhoneGap)
  • Compatible with all Wikitude SDK versions
  • Basic support via the Wikitude Forum
  • Wikitude Studio Access (1GB storage)
  • Contains trial watermark and Wikitude logo

Note :  Trial versions contain a watermark indicating that distribution and making available is prohibited. The watermark will be shown in the cam view of the applications. In order to remove the watermark, as well as to gain publication rights, a commercial license is required.

You can check out Commercial Version’s details here.

2 . ARKit 

Supported platforms: iOS 11/12.

ARKit is what Apple calls it’s set of software development tools to enable developers to build augmented-reality apps for iOS. Most of us will never actually use ARKit, but we see its results and interact with ARKit apps in iOS 11.

Who can use ARKit apps?
Anyone using an iOS device that runs on Apple’s A9, A10 or A11 Bionic processors. That includes the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, all iPad Pro models, the 9.7-inch iPad released in 2017, the iPhone 8, 8 Plus and iPhone X. That’s millions of devices that are able to use AR apps.

It supports 2-dimensional image detection (trigger AR with posters, signs, images), and even 2D image tracking, meaning the ability to embed objects into AR experiences. SDK allows developing apps that would recognize spaces and 3D objects, as well as place virtual objects on surfaces.

Price : free / $99 annual developer program for distribution.

 

3 ARCore

Supported platforms: Android 7.0 and higher, iOS 11 or higher. A full list of all supported devices is available here.

In the race of AR Development, Google isn’t far behind …

ARCore is Google’s platform for building augmented reality experiences. Using different APIs, 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:

  • Motion tracking allows the phone to understand and track its position relative to the world.
  • Environmental understanding allows the phone to detect the size and location of all type of surfaces: horizontal, vertical and angled surfaces like the ground, a coffee table or walls.
  • Light estimation allows the phone to estimate the environment’s current lighting conditions.

Pricing: Free.
Get the ARCore Github source code and overview ARCore portal.

 

4 Vuforia 

Supported platforms: Android, iOS, UWP and Unity Editor.

Whenever we talk about AR Development, Vuforia is one of the most popular SDK, for developing AR.

Vuforia Engine’s recognition and tracking capabilities can be used on a variety of images and objects.

Model Targets: Allow you to recognize objects by shape using pre-existing 3D models. Place AR content on a wide variety of items like industrial equipment, vehicles, toys, and home appliances.

Image Targets: Attach content onto flat images, such as print media and product packaging.

Object Targets: Are created by scanning an object. They are a good option for toys and other products with rich surface details and a consistent shape.

Multi-Targets: Are created using more than one Image Target and can be arranged into regular geometric shapes (e.g. boxes) or in any arbitrary arrangement of planar surfaces.

Cylinder Targets: Recognize images wrapped onto objects that are approximately cylindrical in shape (e.g. beverage bottles, coffee cups, soda cans).

VuMarks: These are customized markers that can encode a range of data formats. They support both unique identifications and tracking for AR applications.

External Camera: Access video data from a camera outside of the one in a phone or tablet when creating AR experiences.

Ground Plane: Enables you to place content on horizontal surfaces in the environment like tables and floors.

On March 2019, Vuforia  introduced Vuforia 8.1…

Vuforia Engine 8.1 will deliver the following functionality and enhancements:

  • Model Targets object detection improvements
  • New experimental APIs for ARCore and ARKit
  • Support for Android ARM64
  • Vuforia Engine for iOS now includes Bitcode

 

Price : Vuforia is free to try, you can check out pricing details here.

 

5. Maxst  

Supported platforms: Android, iOS, Windows, Mac OS.


MAXST AR SDK is an easily operated all-in-one solution with 8 key functions.

– Instant Tracker
– Visual SLAM
– Object Tracker
– Image Tracker
– Marker Tracker
– QR Code Tracker
– QR/Barcode Reader
– Cloud Recognizer

MAXST offers a free version and only difference between paid and free is the watermark
You can check out pricing details here : https://developer.maxst.com/Pricing

6. DeepAR


Supported platforms: PC, Android, iOS, Windows, WebGL.

Another contender in the race of AR development, DeepAR tool is developed by the team of engineers, researchers, 3D designers, and animators having over 20 years of experience in deep learning and artificial intelligence and they are the team behind the famous Candy Crush game.

DeepAr comes with 4 effect types: rigid objects, deformable masks, morph masks, and post-processing effects. This implies that developers can utilize this AR SDK for high-quality face lenses, similar to ones on Snapchat and Facebook, as well as various masks and effects for mobile devices and desktop applications

Price: You can contact them for a free 30 days trial: https://www.deepar.ai/contact

 

7. EasyAR


Supported platforms: Android, iOS, UWP, Windows, Mac and Unity Editor.

Another Contender in the race of AR Development, it is a good and free alternative of Vuforia

It is free to use and have no watermark, only limitations between free and paid version are that Free Version doesn’t support

  • SLAM
  • 3D Object Tracking
  • Multi-type of target simultaneous detection and tracking
  • Screen Recording

Price: Free

8.ARToolKit


Supported platforms: Android, iOS, Linux, Windows, Mac OS and Smart Glasses.

ARToolKit is an open-source computer tracking library for creation of strong augmented reality applications that overlay virtual imagery on the real world. Currently, it is maintained as an open-source project hosted on GitHub.

Features :

  • Single-camera or stereo-camera camera position/orientation tracking.
  • Tracking of simple black squares
  • Tracking of planar images
  • Camera calibration and optical stereo calibration
  • Plugins for Unity and OpenSceneGraph
  • Optical head-mounted display support
  • Free and open source software
  • Fast enough for real-time AR applications.

9.KUDAN :

Supported platforms: Android, iOs, Unity Cross Platforms

KUDAN is another good alternative of Vuforia.

Kudan AR is an SDK engine available that supports both marker and markerless tracking. So whether you need to track in excess of 15,000 local markers or none at all, you can do both.

Price : Free to use

10. Pikkart AR SDK


Yet another player in the race of AR development, it offers both free and paid license … it has following features: Image recognization, AR Logo – Create multiple augmented reality experiences on different prints of the same image. (Up to 1 billion unique prints!), Cloud recognition with API, Geo augmented marker.
The Pikkart SDK promises to enable developers to create highly engaging and immersive AR experiences that can be up and running on-device in a matter of minutes. The platform includes native plugins for iOS and Android and also integrates with existing Unity and Xamarin projects. The SDK also enables developers to add geolocated augmented markers in order to develop integrated navigation services.

Price: Free to use, check out this page for pricing: https://developer.pikkart.com/augmented-reality/sdk/