A couple of years ago when augmented reality (AR) was becoming a hot topic thanks to the likes of Google’s ARCore and Apple’s ARKit, Unity revealed Project MARS as it looked to help developers build better AR experiences. Today, during the AWE 2020 online keynote, Unity announced that MARS will be made available next week.
MARS stands for Mixed and Augmented Reality Studio, a tool inside the normal Unity editor which can aid next-generation AR content creation, apps that are responsive to physical spaces and context-aware, so they can operate in a variety of spaces.
AR apps used to be about overlaying content in the real world. As the technology has advanced its been more about integrating that digital experience with the real one. So CG objects not only where they are in a location but also able to interact with it for a seamless effect.
The most recent example built using MARS is Dr. Seuss’s ABC – An Amazing AR Alphabet! which launched for iOS and Android devices in March. An educational experience where children learn about the alphabet whilst Seussian characters come to life, thanks to MARS these can hop along a table or play on the sofa.
As MARS is used inside the Unity editor developers can test experiences without leaving the software; include location, map, product and more data in their projects and only worry about deploying their experience once across all AR platforms such as ARKit, ARCore, Magic Leap and Hololens devices.
Unity will launch MARS next Monday, 1st June, so you can start having a play with the software soon. As for more MARS developed projects, the only one known so far is the recently announced Wallace & Gromit: The Big Fix Up from the award-winning animation company Aardman. No footage has been released just yet but it’ll be the first time the comedy duo has stepped into AR.
Once the launch has taken place and more developers get their hands on MARS, VRFocus will report back with the latest AR projects.