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An augmented reality software development kit, or AR SDK, allows developers to build digital objects that appear to blend into the real world. An AR SDK is crucial to any business that creates AR experiences. These tools offer functions such as 3D object tracking, image recognition, visual SLAM (simultaneous localization and mapping), multi-tracking, and more, which allow developers to produce digital images. AR engineers can utilize these SDKs to develop mobile apps, various CAD platforms, marketing experiences, and more. These SDKs are typically intended for specific frameworks and hardware; however, some AR SDKs can be supported across multiple systems, creating more flexibility.
While some AR SDKs also have the functionality to generate VR experiences, these tools should not be confused with VR SDKs, which give developers the tools to create and test virtual reality apps. In addition, these tools are often able to be customized through the use of an API.
To qualify for inclusion in the AR SDK category, a product must:
iOS 11 introduces ARKit, a new framework that allows you to easily create unparalleled augmented reality experiences for iPhone and iPad. By blending digital objects and information with the environment around you, ARKit takes apps beyond the screen, freeing them to interact with the real world in entirely new ways.
Vuforia Engine is the leading augmented reality software solution that's been chosen by over half a million registered developers worldwide. By bringing together powerful computer vision, dynamic features and easy-to-use software tools we enable developers to create sophisticated, branded AR experiences. With the widest range of supported devices on the market Vuforia ensures your application will reach the broadest audience possible. This leadership has been achieved through almost a decade o
ZapWorks is the complete toolkit for brands and agencies that want to create fully-customizable AR experiences across print, product, packaging, retail, advertising and much more. ZapWorks is built for both designers and developers who want to push the boundaries of creativity and storytelling - no coding required. Using the ZapWorks ecosystem, you can rapidly build, instantly publish, analyze and scale immersive AR experiences across the complete customer journey. Create immersive AR experie
Kudan AR SDK is chosen by professional developers looking for an all-in-one SDK that can support marker or markerless tracking and location requirements. Its fast and light and ready to be ported into any platforms with any peripherals as well.
Wikitude’s cross-platform Augmented Reality SDK combines 3D Markerless Tracking technology (SLAM), Object Recognition and Tracking, Image Recognition and Tracking, support for ARKit and ARCore (SMART), as well as Geo-location AR for apps.
Wikitude is the renowned pioneer of mobile augmented reality (AR) technology and the company behind a number of award-winning AR solutions for smartphones, tablets and smart glasses. Its fully in-house developed AR technology is available through its core product, the Wikitude AR SDK and a number of complimentary products enabling thousands of apps, brands, agencies, developers and AR enthusiasts to achieve their project goals. With tens of thousands of developer accounts and published AR apps,
ARGear is the SaaS based Augmented Reality Software to help app developers to implement Snapchat like AR features and contents for their own apps. Different from other AR solutions, ARGEAR platform is providing not only all-in-one AR SDK, but over 6,000 AR contents varied from AR stickers to avatars. It will offer the basic AR selfie features such as real-time face-tracking and camera filter, also provide advanced features such as real-time beautification, 3D sticker and various trigger effect
EON Studio is our flagship 3D authoring software for developing interactive 3D applications. With EON Studio, users of all experience levels can build complex, high-quality interactive 3D content with little to no programming experience.
Augmented Reality SDK with 3D face tracking to bring face filters, 3D lens, AR beauty, avatars and virtual try-on apps in iOS, Android, Windows & Unity. The biggest face filter library and Effect Constructor & Viewer tools to create custom filters.
Inde develops using emerging technologies such as augmented reality, virtual reality, motion capture and computer vision to create next generation platforms that change the way people interact with content.
The Layar SDK is a static library that implements the Layar Vision functionality and Geo location functionality of Layar into your own iPhone and/or Android app and presents the Augmented Reality view to the user. The biggest advantage of this solution is that publishers/developers can offer the engagement of interactive print to yours users within the context of your brand. Instead of instructing users to download the Layar App, you can bring the interactivity of Layar directly to your app wit
LiveAvatar creates unparalleled levels of entertainment in a fully gamified AR environment perfect for education and entertainment. 3D Characters can either be ready-made, such as SEAN the alien, or subject to custom content development with a wide range of options.
Build your Augmented Reality apps with a light, easy to use, fast, stable, computationally inexpensive on-device detection and tracking SDK. No image dataset limits with the Cloud Recognition Service, fast, precise and easily scalable to giant image datasets. [Image recognition] Use our image recognition SDK and develop the best augmented reality experience with native API, Unity 3D or Xamarin platform. AR Logo Create multiple augmented reality experiences on different prints of the same imag
PlugXR is easy to use a cloud-based platform that is bundled with many features. It allows creating and publishing advanced AR Apps and Experiences. PlugXR provides with simple drag and drop option without writing a single line of code. It provides with cross SDK feature that allows shifting from one SDK to another without losing any data. Features offered by PlugXR Augmented Reality platform: - PlugXR is a cloud-based platform that can be easily accessed from anywhere over the internet. -
An AR SDK, or an augmented reality software development kit, arms developers with all the necessary tools to create their own augmented reality apps or platforms. Some AR SDK platforms do not require any expertise in programming or 3D graphics, while others offer numerous advanced features. In this sense AR SDK can be well-suited for beginners who have limited to no expertise—while still catering to experienced developers who are looking for a detailed software development tool. By the same token, some AR SDKs are free with limited features, while others are paid offerings that offer a more robust set of functionalities.
AR SDKs are responsible for all the features and components that make up a typical AR application. This includes AR tracking, which represents the visual effects of the program; content rendering, which relates to how effectively 3D objects can be overlaid in the real world; and scene recognition, which makes it possible to recognize, track, and augment feature-rich rooms, scenes, and larger objects.
Key Benefits of AR SDK Software
Building AR applications without an AR SDK would be like trying to install a door without a hammer and nails. As stated previously, AR SDK software is the essential tool that developers need to create new AR apps and experiences in an efficient manner.
Quicker development — The main reason developers utilize AR SDK software is that it greatly speeds up development time. No one has the time to manually write countless lines of code from scratch; AR SDK software provides users with many sets of libraries and development tools, which help software programmers build and test a variety of applications at a faster pace.
Simulation — AR SDK software equips users with the necessary tools to simulate how an AR app or experience will look before it’s completed. This helps developers identify issues early on in the design phase, potentially saving countless hours of work.
Accelerates learning — AR SDK software is a great option for new users because it can accelerate the learning process. Many vendors provide countless guides, tutorials, and communities that aid developers in answering some of their most pressing questions on how to start developing AR.
Integrations — AR SDK software typically integrates with other tools that are vital to developing a robust AR application.
The main audience for AR SDK software is software developers. AR SDKs provide developers with the necessary framework to customize code, essentially supplying the skeleton for developers to fill the application with their ideas. While augmented reality was once primarily used to develop games, the technology is now finding its way into a variety of industries.
For example, developers can use AR SDK software to aid architects with building design. Through technology, architects can experience entire building designs before they are actually built. Manufacturers, warehouse workers, and retail workers are now being trained with augmented reality software for faster onboarding. The health care industry is utilizing AR-enabled devices to train doctors on surgical techniques as well as observing a patient’s vitals.
In this sense, AR SDK software is not truly limited to just developers. Any industry with a use case for AR should be familiar with the various kinds of AR SDK software and how it can help users fulfill their vision.
AR SDKs come in all shapes and sizes. From open-source to proprietary, it's important to consider a variety of factors before settling on an AR SDK platform. Below we will highlight some of the key factors to consider when choosing an AR SDK.
Supported platforms — While most AR SDK platforms are compatible with Android and IOS, some users need to develop desktop apps for operating systems such as Windows or MacOS. It is therefore crucial to confirm an AR SDK's compatibility supports delivery to its intended audience.
Marker-based AR platform — Marker-based augmented reality platforms are based on image recognition, which can recognize objects in the real world. The most advanced AR SDK platforms can handle recognition of real life objects and 3D markers.
Location-based AR — Location-based AR is geo-based and does not require any special markers for identifying where to place a virtual object in the real world. Some AR SDK platforms include mapping and support for horizontal and vertical environments.
Free vs. paid solutions — Many vendors that offer AR SDK platforms give the option of either a free or paid version. Free versions, which are beneficial to casual users, often do not include the more robust features that paid versions offer. For example, free versions don’t offer as many object targets; paid versions may offer upwards of a thousand object targets.
Plane tracking — Plane tracking, also known as plane detection, allows users to develop an AR product that detects horizontal planes such as floors, tables, and ceilings.
SLAM — Simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) allows users to place a 3D object into the camera and hold it at a point in space, no matter how much the camera moves. Users can then map an environment and track their own movements in it, helping create maps for indoor navigation.
Face tracking — Face tracking features allow users to create an AR experience that identifies and verifies a human face from a digital image or live video frame. Game creators sometimes use face tracking to allow players to become avatars.
Object recognition — Object recognition features allow users to develop AR systems that can identify objects in the real world. This allows developers to overlay digital information about the object into the field of view.
Cloud recognition — Cloud recognition and storage is an online storage solution for large-scale AR projects. AR SDK platforms that have cloud recognition are capable of recognizing lots of different markers since the markers are stored in the cloud which requires less space.
Geolocation — Geolocation features aid users in creating location-based AR apps. This allows users to add virtual points of interest such as the nearest restaurants or movie theaters.
Wearables support — While most AR applications are built to function through smartphones, some are built with the intention to use smart glasses.