Are you planning to create amazing Top AR Game with Best AR Engine, choosing between AR Foundation (ARKit, ARCore), Unity MARS, Vuforia and other Augmented Reality Engines?
In this article, I will present the most notable, modern and top AR Engines for Unity, so you can make the right choice for your needs.
- 1 What the top AR engine for Unity?
- 2 ARCore and ARKit: AR Foundation
- 3 MARS
- 4 AR Cameras: GYRO & ACCELEROMETER
- 5 AR + VR: Mixed Reality
- 6 Vuforia AR
- 7 EasyAR
- 8 AR Shadow
- 9 3 Reasons Your Game needs to contain AR mode
- 10 Where can you use an Augmented Reality Engine?
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.
ARCore and ARKit: AR Foundation
These are AR Engines by Apple & Google for marker & markerless Augmented Reality:
- ARCore for Android;
- ARKit for iOS.
They can react to the lighting of the real environment.
These are complex and progressive Augmented Reality Engines, and therefore it supports even less mobile devices than Vuforia, and also requires more resources.
Unity 2018.1 and higher provides Native Cross-Platform AR API called AR Foundation: an abstraction layer consisting of APIs and built-in components for building AR apps across ARKit (iOS) and ARCore (Android).
Unity Assets with AR Foundation
Can I Switch between MARS Layer & Pure AR Foundation Implementation?
There is a distinction between a MARS scene and an AR Foundation scene. Although they use the same underlying API to get AR data, a MARS scene in Unity provides higher level abstractions for the content you want to create in AR.
There is not a way currently to switch between the implementations because the overarching abstractions are different. On the other hand, it is certainly possible to have one scene in your project use AR Foundation, while another uses MARS.
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.
Different devices have different gyroscopes and accelerometers, and therefore different deviations and drifts.
Gyro vs. Accelerometer
20% of all modern mobile devices have a gyroscope.
90% of all mobile devices have an accelerometer and video camera.
You can also try to use both cameras for different cases.
Unity Assets with AR Camera GYRO
AR + VR: Mixed Reality
VR + AR: Mixed Reality (MR) (docs) — Unity Asset that uses AR Camera GYRO (docs) and Google VR SDK to display 2D or 3D objects as though they were in the real world mixing Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality.
Vuforia is a top marker AR for Unity.
Since recently it also provides surface recognition and some VR features for Unity 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 AR Assets with Vuforia
EasyAR — worthy competitor for Vuforia with support of Desktop Apps.
Unity Assets with AR Shadow
- AR Camera GYRO (docs);
- AR Camera ACCELEROMETER (docs);
- AR Survival Shooter (docs);
- AR Throwing (docs);
- AR Toss Boss (docs);
- AR Basketball GO (docs).
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 Engine?
You can use Unity 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.
So, choose the best AR Engine for your needs and create amazing games!