How to start an AR project

So you want to make your own augmented reality application but you don’t know yet where to start? On this page you will find links to development tools we recommend. There is a big difference in developing for mobile phones / tablets (iOS and Android) or using your desktop / laptop and a webcam. On the bottom of the page we link to a perfect overview of SDK, platforms, licences.

iOS and Android based

  • Aurasma. If you want to develop an augmented reality application for iOS and Android, ‘Aurasma’ is probably the easiest solution since you can create your whole application within the free Aurasma app. You can simply take a picture of an image which you want to use as a marker and augment it with images / videos which are on your iOS / Android device. In case you want to augment the marker with your own 3D models you can request a free license for ‘Aurasma Studio’, their online creation tool which runs in your browser. This tool also makes it possible to add interactive elements such as buttons. For more information, please visit Aurasma’s website.
  • Vuforia is an extremely robust image tracker which is available as a plugin for Unity, one of the most popular game engines on the market. This combination gives you high quality tracking, many options for interaction and great visuals. Vuforia is free to use, but you will need an Unity iOS / Unity Android license to be able to export your application. In case you want to develop for iOS, a Mac and Apple developer license are also necessary. At the AR Lab we can help you with developing Vuforia applications. For more information, please visit Vuforia’s website.

Webcam based

  • BuildAR. Currently there are few development tools which focus on webcam based augmented reality. BuildAR is probably the easiest to use and most popular. There are some different versions though.
  • BuildAR free. This Windows-only version of BuildAR is free for non-commercial usage. With the help of a simple interface you can attach a 3d model to a marker. Visit website.
  • BuildAR Pro Mac: This Mac version of BuildAR can not only attach 3D models to a marker, but also images and sound. In our experience this Mac version is not very stable though. Visit website.
  • BuildAR Pro 2 trial. This Windows version can not only track the traditional black and white markers, but also images. As with the Mac version you can add 3D models, images and sound to a marker. It is possible to use the free demo-version, though you won’t be able to save your scene. Visit website.

OVERVIEW of SDK, platforms, features and licenses.

How to start an AR project