When Apple and then Google launched their augmented reality (AR) development software ARKit and ARCore respectively, they provided a perfect avenue for creators to build immersive AR apps and videogames for mobile devices. But just like the Khronos Group is trying to solve with the issue of fragmentation using OpenXR, having both ARKit and ARCore meant more work for developers trying to support both. During the recent Unity keynote at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2019, the videogame engine company has a solution, AR Foundation.
While devices like Magic Leap and HoloLens might be pushing the upper reaches of AR technology, some of the most interesting work is being done at a consumer level on mobile devices. Yet creators generally have to choose whether to focus on ARKit or ARCore. Which is why Unity created the AR Foundation framework, specifically for AR content developers, allowing them to build an AR app and then deploy it to both ARKit and ARCore.
AR Foundation also includes features to overcome common problems such as anchoring digital objects into the real world and the visual fidelity of digital objects. One of the options Unity focused on was AR Remote: “it significantly reduces iteration time by streaming sensor data from an AR-enabled mobile device directly into the Unity editor, explains a blog posting. “This allows developers to see changes on their target device in real time without having to publish to the device.
As AR Foundation is part of Unity, veterans of the software will feel right at home using its workflows and features to create AR content. They can even use the assets built for non-AR titles and use them in their new AR project.
Unity is one of the most popular engines for virtual reality (VR) and AR development, supporting the industry from an early stage. Unity CEO John Riccitiello has previously claimed that around two-thirds of all VR and AR apps on the market were built using Unity.
As Unity continues to expand and introduce more features for VR and AR development, VRFocus will keep you updated.