Top 8 Augmented Reality Toolkits App Developers Should Consider

Robby Gupta

The technological advancements have led to the exploration of the digital world, influencing every sector of society including business and education. New initiatives are being taken by brands and companies to extend their reach to consumers all over the world.

In doing so, multiple applications have been used, and multiple new features and functionalities are being introduced. To ensure global accessibility and appeal, apps are also being introduced with augmented reality functionalities. These functionalities are made active by deploying various augmented reality software tools in the system.

Given the importance of Augmented Reality in creating user-friendly apps for your business, the developers must know the toolkits to be used. Hence, to develop augmented reality apps, you must be aware of the same as an app developer for your brand.

Vuforia

One of the major players for the development of augmented reality apps is Vuforia. Using this toolkit will make sure your app runs efficiently on all vital platforms like iOS, Unity Editor, UWP as well as Android. If you have this toolkit installed in your system, it will make Vuforia Object Scanner available so that customers get a chance to take 2D as well as a 3D view of any product they consider buying from you. It offers text recognition facility that has more than 100,000 words along with the custom vocabulary choice option.

You can include videos to specify the product parts online as your customers will be allowed to view the same if Vuforia is used in the app. Though the toolkit SDK is free of cost, you may have to face certain restrictions in functionality and watermarks of the version. To use it without restriction, you as an app developer would need to subscribe to obtain a commercial license.

AR toolkit

Source: Flickr.com

Wikitude

The next on the list of augmented reality toolkits is Wikitude. It is suitable for multiple platforms, including iOS, Android, and also smart glasses. It has SLAM technology included in it. As a result, having a 3D view of the products available in the app is possible.

In addition, you can also be assured of efficient image recognition and tracking feature. In case,you are targeting the customers based on their geographical boundaries, this toolkit will make sure you achieve this goal.

The new version of the toolkit i.e. Wikitude SDK 7 comes with advanced camera features and extended tracking facility. As an app developer, you can go for this option on a free trial basis and when you find it suitable, you can subscribe to enjoy it without any watermark restrictions.

ARKit

With the introduction of ARKit by Apple, the software industry saw a new technology innovation. The augmented reality developer made sure the product scalability of a brand is wider and the reach is beyond limitations.

Deploying the ARToolKit makes you have a TrueDepth camera that identifies the structure, position, and expression of the face of the person using the app. As a result, the toolkit offers high accuracy and assured security.

The innovative Visual Inertial Odometry or VIA enables you to fuse camera sensor data using Core Motion data, and thereby, track movements without having to include any extra calibration.

ARCore

Following the introduction of ARKit, Google came up with a competitive toolkit – ARCore. Being an app developer, you always look for tools that enable AR design and deployment. The new mobile phones are well-equipped with tools that can sense the external surroundings. With ARCore, motion tracking has been made possible. The toolkit supports almost every platform, including Android 7.0 and onwards as well as iOS 11 and higher.

You can position texts and objects with the desirable physical surroundings with the help of the above motion tracking features that it offers. It excels in real-time tracking of the position of users. In a nutshell, this augmented reality toolkit has the ability to effectively bring together the real and virtual world.

Maxst

With two SDKs, Maxst has to offer 2D technology for image tracking and 3D system for environment recognition. The toolkit has Visual Simultaneous Localization and Mapping facility instilled in it. This, in turn, offers excellent tracking service. While tracking the surrounding, the map extends beyond the first view automatically as the camera moves. The best part is that the maps can be saved for future use.

Maxst offers QR and barcode scanning along with multi-target tracking service. The target can be tracked to the extent to which the camera could see. Three images at a time could be tracked if you use Maxst in your app. You can position and track objects with respect to the plane. The toolkit also provides unity plugin integration for app developers.

Kudan

Vuforia versus Kudan is the most talked about competition in the augmented reality niche. The app developers are normally confused regarding what to use. As both the toolkits offer almost similar features and support all possible platforms, it is difficult to make a valid choice. Using Kudan enables both marker-based and marker-less tracking. Marker-based AR apps emphasize on using the software installed in various devices to detect patterns to obtain an image from the device camera.

You can make sure your app has a real-time texture morphing feature along with high-quality 3D graphics support if you use Kudan.

However, you are likely to face apps crashes while using this toolkit, which makes it a little tough for app developers to go for it. Hence, they prefer Vuforia.

DeepAR

It may not be as popular as other augmented reality toolkits but DeepAR has emerged as one of the best players in the AR app making industry. It is a product from the makers who participated in the development of the Hailo app, Candy Crash, NASA and the Russian Space Agency. You get four effect types – rigid objects, morph masks, post-processing effects, and deformable masks.

The developers using this can have high-quality face lenses in their app along with multiple masks and effects features in the mobile devices and desktop interfaces.

It will enable the apps to have facial detection facilities in real time depending on the data models and machine learning techniques, which are, of course, patented. This is the best for even the Android phones that have lower specifications.

Xzimg

The toolkit comes from Hong Kong and makes real-time face tracking much easier. It also helps app developers in creating applications based on AR techniques. These apps, however, work best for web browsers, mobile phones, and desktop apps. It offers augmented vision, magic face feature, augmented face recognition in videos, etc.

If you’re an AR developer and you are looking forward to making the app experience for companies and people great and memorable, knowing about the above AR toolkits will definitely help you yield productive results. Every kit has one or the other unique feature, which you need to be aware of, prior to making your choice while creating an app.

No matter whether you are into the creation of the app for an e-commerce industry or healthcare sector or architecture niche, implementing the toolkits will certainly propel your business, extending its reach on a global platform.

Based on the features, you can go for the suitable ones and make the app experience best for your clients and customers. Feel free to get in touch with one of our experts if you have more questions.

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about the author

Robby Gupta

Robby Gupta is the head of US operations for TechJini, Inc. He has had varied experiences working in New York, Cupertino, and Bangalore with packaged & amp; custom web and mobile app development for an assortment of industries. His current focus is Immersive Technologies, IoT, AI bots and their applications in the digital enterprise.