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Top AR Engines for Unity

Hello, I’m Andrew Sirota, AR Developer at Makaka Games.
Today I will present the most notable, modern and top AR Engines for Unity.

What the top AR engine for Unity?

There is no “super” top AR engine for all cases of life and for all mobile devices.

If you want to make an AR-application or AR-game that will work on all devices, then you need to combine several AR-engines for different cases in one application.

AR Cameras: GYRO & ACCELEROMETER

Simple, inexpensive and most universal markerless solution.
These two Unity Assets suitable for most mobile devices.

They do not provide surface recognition & marker features, but consume few resources and cover many devices.

Gyro vs. Accelerometer

20% of all modern mobile devices have a gyroscope.
90% of all mobile devices have an accelerometer and video camera.

If you want greater accuracy and stability, use AR Camera GYRO (docs) with Pokemon GO mechanics for AR.
If you want greater coverage of devices, but less accuracy and stability, use AR Camera ACCELEROMETER (docs).

You can also try to use both cameras for different cases.

Different devices have different gyroscopes, and therefore different deviations and drifts.

Unity Assets with AR Camera GYRO

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Vuforia

Vuforia is a top marker AR for Unity.
Since recently it also provides surface recognition and some VR features for AR.

It works somewhat differently, requires more resources & covers less mobile devices than AR Camera GYRO.
Here is used a more complex Augmented Reality.

Unity 2017.2 (and higher) has native integration with Vuforia Engine, but for many months it has one unpleasant unfixable bug (Vuforia runs in all scenes – Fixed in Unity 2018.1 with Vuforia 7.1).

Check Vuforia Features & FAQ from my clients.

Unity Assets with Vuforia

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ARCore & ARKit

These are AR Engines by Apple & Google for marker & markerless Augmented Reality.
They can react to the lighting of the real environment.

This is a more complex and progressive Augmented Reality, and therefore it supports even less mobile devices than Vuforia, and also requires more resources.

Unity 2018.1 provides Native Cross-Platform AR APIs: an abstraction layer consisting of APIs and built-in components for building AR apps across ARKit (iOS) and ARCore (Android).

Check ARKit Features.
Check ARCore Features.

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AR Shadow

AR Shadow implements simple real-time shadows for apps with Augmented Reality (Vuforia, Gyro, Accelerometer, any AR). This is Unity shader for transparent surfaces.

Download AR Shadow on Unity Asset Store.
Check Documentation.

Unity Assets with AR Shadow

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3 Reasons Your Game needs to contain AR mode

  • Acceleration of everyday activities;
  • Viewing objects from the inside;
  • The materialization of abstract concepts that can be felt.

Bring the enchanting Power of Augmented Reality into your App.

Where can you use an Augmented Reality?

You can use AR in Video Games, Promotions, Demonstration of real estate objects, education, industry, entertainment (quests in reality), expositions and events, etc. In short, interactivity and gamification.

This allows people to engage in a fascinating insight into your business or game. This is a powerful technique to attract attention, so you need to use it in full:

  • Surprise your customers with WOW-effect.
  • Leave a positive impression of your brand.
  • Provide the information here and now.
  • Let your client tell their friends and relatives about your products.
Support for Unity Assets
I am Andrew Sirota, Founder at Makaka Games and full-time Publisher on Unity Asset Store. First of all, read the latest docs online. If it didn’t help, get the support.
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