Dev to Dev

7 statistics every app developer should know about augmented reality

Augmented reality statistics and predictions

The concept of augmented reality is not as new as you might think. As a matter of fact, back in 1901 Lyman Frank Baum first mentioned the idea of an electronic display that could overlay data onto real-life objects and named it a ‘character marker’. The maturity and history of augmented reality, however, is a topic that deserves a post of its own.

For now, let’s fast-forward 100+ years and better understand why Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, Adobe and other tech giants are fiercely investing in augmented reality as it is known today.

Starting with what the tech giant leaders and representatives are saying about AR:

• Apple CEO Tim Cook has been claiming to be AR’s biggest fan and called it “critically important” :

“I am so excited about AR. I think AR is one of these very few profound technologies that we will look back on one day and, ‘How did we live out without it?’ Simple things today that you can use it for, like if you’re shopping for a sofa or a chair or a lamp, in terms of experiencing it in your place… We’ve never been able to do that before until the last couple of years or so. And that’s at the early innings of AR, it will only get better”.

• Meta’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg betted the company’s future on a metaverse that will have augmented reality as its essential part:

“I believe that that augmented and virtual reality are going to enable a deeper sense of presence and social connection than any existing platform. And they’re going to be an important part of how we will interact with computers in the future.”

It’s undeniable that AR has gained serious momentum in the last years. Still, if your client is hesitant if he/she should give augmented reality a go, here are 7 stats that will help you win your next app development project.

7 augmented reality statistics every app developer should know

      1. By 2024 there will be an estimated 1.7 billion mobile augmented reality (AR) users worldwide, a rise of 1.5 billion from the 200 million seen in 2015(Statista)

      2. Consumers believe AR is the most disruptive emerging technology, overtaking AI (GlobalData).

      3. Around 75% of the global population and almost 100% of the smartphone user population are expected to turn into AR frequent users by 2025 (Snap Consumer Global AR report).

      4. The smartphone and handheld devices display segment is predicted to see the highest CAGR up to 2028 (Grand View Research).

      5. Expectations for AR technologies continue to outpace VR in terms of expected revenue, market penetration, and consumer adoption, with 3/4 of respondents expecting the AR market to eventually surpass VR in total revenue (Perkins Coie).

      6. The retail sector continues to benefit from AR, with virtual fitting room market to exhibit 20.6% CAGR till 2028 (Fortune Business Insights).

      7. The Metaverse market may reach $783.3 billion in 2024 vs. $478.7 billion in 2020 representing a compound annual growth rate of 13.1% (Bloomberg)

As data shows, augmented reality is growing exponentially. New creative AR apps, solutions, and devices are stirring up the market and gaining the trust and interest of users worldwide. And a great part of the AR success is due to its versatility.

AR technology is proving to be useful in practically every sector: retail, logistics, journalism, maintenance, fashion, tourism, gaming, decor and more. Check the top AR use-cases to see how mobile developers are using augmented reality to boost their apps and improve the overall user experience.

Already working with augmented reality and want to increase your chances of getting your AR project approved? Take a look at some tips we’ve collected for you on how to pitch augmented reality for your next project.

With augmented reality in current expansion the next big AR hit, after the Pokémon Go frenzy, is still up for grabs. Perfect time for innovative app developers to make their moves. Are you up for the challenge?

Talk to one of our specialists and learn how to get started with AR today.

Digital agencies

Augmented Reality Experiences For Hotels: Innovative AR Ideas For The Lodging Industry

Learn how augmented reality experiences for hotels can help boost your digital strategy, improve ratings, and increase bookings.

Successful hotel mission statements usually revolve around excellence in hospitality services with the ultimate goal of delighting guests and satisfying their expectations. But what if you, as a hotelier, could go beyond? 

Including augmented reality experiences in your hotel offerings has the potential to provide hotel guests with a memorable experience that they would be likely to share and recommend to others.

Interested in standing out from the competition, increasing brand awareness, and improving business? Continue reading to explore some augmented reality ideas for hotels and learn a bit about the technology behind these projects.

Marketing your hotel with augmented reality

Boost your hotel booking rates with the help of augmented reality

Transform print media into interactive multimedia AR platforms

By using Image Tracking AR technology, you can attract new and repeating customers to your website and establishment through augmented advertisement posters, banners, brochures, catalogs, magazines, or any other printed material.

When scanned by potential guests, these images could then be superimposed by digital content in the form of audio, video, text, image galleries, 3D models, or whatever suits the use case best. The AR image scan could also prompt exclusive discount codes or allow users to access a virtual tour of the hotel rooms and amenities. One could even have a digital representation of the hotel owner greeting potential guests and inviting them for a stay.

With this interactive AR function, you can better engage with your customers by offering innovative entertainment while educating them about your establishment.

Image Tracking AR experience by German travel magazine Abenteuer und Reisen

As an illustrative example, the AR experience seen above shows Image Tracking scans that prompt travel guides, videos and digital animations, virtual tours, and 360° videos.

AR social media campaign for hotels

The cool AR experiences you create for your customers can and should be incorporated into your social media marketing campaign. Allowing users to capture and share the Hotel AR experiences with others, has the potential to make your campaign go viral.

The idea here is to create a sharable AR use case that fits your hotel theme/business goals to help boost your social media strategy.

For example, let’s say your Hotel is in Hawaii. A part of the AR experience could allow guests to capture and share a picture of them wearing a digital Lei garland, the necklace of flowers given in Hawaii as a token of welcome or farewell.

When clients book exciting trips, they tend to want to spread the good news. Giving them creative ways to do so, brings extra traction to the hotel’s social media presence.

Enhancing your hotel with augmented reality

Boost the overall hotel user experience with the help of augmented reality

AR hotel entertainment

A pioneering hotel AR example created as a temporary Holiday Inn campaign during the 2012 Olympics allowed hotel guests to use their smartphones or tablets to see athletes in virtual action in the reception, lobby, hallways, and bedrooms.

augmented reality for hotels: BMX World Champion Shanaze Reade can be seen performing tricks on her bike in the hotel's lobby
Virtual spin: BMX World Champion Shanaze Reade can be ‘seen’ performing tricks in the hotel’s lobby. Source: Daily Mail

Additionally, guests could also have their picture taken standing next to the digitalized athletes. The example above – made possible thanks to Instant Tracking AR technology – is a great source of inspiration for the many possibilities that AR can enable. 

Using this use case – digital characters appearing seamlessly in the hotel premises, one could convert it to any theme of their liking: astronomy, ancient Egypt personalities, local legends that make the city famous, important cultural and historical figures, pop and rockstars, you name it! Your imagination is your limit here.

AR hotel gamification 

The most successful AR game to date is Pokémon Go. By using Geo AR Tracking technology, the game developers were able to lock digital Pokémons to certain geographical points of interest throughout the world. Players would then visit such locations to capture them. The game has been a big hit since its launch and still attracts crowds of all ages and backgrounds.

Your hotel could offer a similar dynamic in and around its premises. As an example, one could create a treasure hunt AR game, locking collectible digital augmentations to various points of interest. These digital AR treasures could lead guests to hotel areas with the possibility of cross-selling (gift shop, bar), or less-visited areas of the hotel itself which need a little more traction, or even take them to affiliated partners (restaurants, museums, shops) around the city. 

Ideally, guests who complete the treasure hunt could be rewarded with a prize (free cocktail, discount for the next booking, free guided tour around town, etc).

AR in hotel dining 

An interesting augmented reality use cases, created by a Michelin-starred restaurant and bar in London, could inspire many hotel dining facilities across the world.

When visiting the City Social restaurant, guests can point their phone’s viewfinder to enjoy a series of artistic styles digitally layered around cocktails, brought to life through Image Tracking augmented reality technology. 

The idea behind this specific AR-enhanced cocktail menu is to depict “art through the ages”. Ranging from Michelangelo to Banksy, each drink represents a different artist or period of time. The interactive art animations can be captured in photo or video and be shared on social media. 

Augmented hotel ARt

  • Augment existing 2D Art

Known for hosting framed art from famous or interesting local painters? 

Allow guests to learn more about the artwork, and artists with a simple phone scan that could trigger audio guides, videos, text or a digital version of the artist himself explaining his piece and personal story.

  • Augment existing 3D Art

Cool monument, fountain, or architectural feature inside the Hotel?

Use Object e Scene AR Tracking technology to have digital augmentations attached to objects, sculptures, or the building structure itself.

  • Host digital AR art 

Invite digital artists to feature their art throughout the hotel premises. Users could scan murals to view, capture, and share the digitally hidden art on social media.

In-room hotel AR experiences

It is not uncommon to find informative paper folders and brochures inside hotel rooms which include hotel information, room service details, menu listing, frequently asked questions and more. Modernize your communication with augmented reality.

Strategically position scannable spots around the room which could trigger a series of different informative or entertaining augmentations. Think AR operating manuals that show how the coffee machine works (users can scan the machine itself to see the digital instructions appear directly on the machine), digital representations of the food menu, or entertaining stories about the hotel and the area.

AR-enhanced hotel tourism services

Boost your Hotel Services with the help of augmented reality

AR pop-up booklet

If you already have printed materials with information on local sights and attractions, consider adding digital augmentations representing the most important sightseeing destinations of the region.

Inspired by augmented reality pop-up art books, your hotel could enhance physical informative booklets by having scannable pages that bring more information regarding important sightseeing destinations of the region. Including 3D models of the sights themselves.

AR maps

Hotels often offer touristic maps of the surrounding areas to help guide and inform guests during their visits. Similar to the idea above, hotels could use the actual map to reveal landmarks, famous constructions, and monuments digitally popping out of the map in a realistic or artistic manner as seen in the one earth augmented map below.

AR Tours 

Many hotels offer guided tours as an extra service offering. To create a long-lasting memory, consider innovating with the use of augmented reality smartglasses.
As seen below in the experimental AR tour created by TUI Destination Experiences with Epson Moverio smart glasses, tourists can have a hands-free experience while blending the digital and physical worlds. When wearing AR glasses users can look at specific outdoor landmarks or constructions to view information about the construction process and architectural history. For indoor experiences, the same would apply to sculptures, paintings, and other showcased pieces.

AR guide and navigation

A hotel AR guide app would allow users to scan historical landmarks, monuments, and geographical points of interest to view instant interactive digital information. Furthermore, Extended Tracking AR technology could allow digital directions to point the way to other destinations, as seen in the example below.

AR smartglasses

Since the majority of the hotel consumer base is in possession of a smartphone, AR is easy to be made available as it typically doesn’t require investment in hardware.

However, keep in mind that most of the experiences described above can be made with AR smartglasses. When done well, AR glasses could produce an even longer-lasting positive experience.

Wikitude Augmented Reality SDK

Want to create an augmented reality experience that will delight your hotel guests? Contact our team to learn how to get started today.

Dev to Dev

Top Augmented Reality (AR) Tutorials

If you are anything like us, striving to become a better programmer is definitely among your goals. That’s why Wikitude has decided to pitch in our choice of AR tutorials and encourage those who wish to follow through.

Don’t break the motivational flow and keep yourself busy by reviewing this fine selection of augmented reality programming tutorials.

Markerless AR tutorial with Wikitude, Unity, and SLAM technology

In this AR tutorial, you will learn how to detect ground planes, place augmented objects and set up the sample scene for instant tracking or SLAM technology. 

3D Object Tracking 

Learn how to record your 3D objects, build object trackers, and add effects to the AR scene.

Object Recognition from a distance

Learn how to create an AR app that can recognize objects from a far distance.

Multiple Target Tracking with Unity

Learn how to create a simple AR tower defense game using Wikitude.

Mobile AR with Object Tracking in Unity

Learn how to create an animated AR Aquarium.

Geo-based AR app

This AR tutorial shows how to make a Pokémon Go type app in three easy steps.

Instant Tracking with Unity

Remember the famous WikiTurtle app? This tutorial teaches you step-by-step how to create a floating 3D markerless AR turtle using Unity and Wikitude’s instant tracking (SLAM).

To put these tutorials to the test download a free trial of the Wikitude SDK to start working with a wide range of AR features, including markerless tracking, object tracking, image tracking, and geo-location AR.

The Wikitude SDK allows developers to choose between using Native API, JavaScript API, or other supported extensions and plugins such as Cordova, Unity, Xamarin and Flutter.

Have specific AR questions? Access the Wikitude Forum to get extra support from a broad network of active developers worldwide.

For extra inspiration, navigate through Wikitude’s YouTube channel for use cases, presentations, AR features and much more.

Good luck with your AR tutorials endeavors!

Interested in creating an AR project of your own?
Talk to one of our specialists and learn how to get started.

Contact The Wikitude Team


Augmented Reality for students and educators: get started with AR NOW!

It’s never been a better time for students and educators to take a closer look at the augmented reality technology to future-proof their careers.

Learn why and how to get started with Augmented Reality for students and educators!

Augmented reality technology

As explained in our introductory AR technology 101 guide, augmented reality is when computer-generated elements (graphics, 3D animations, videos, etc.) are digitally layered on top of a user’s view of the real world. 

As seen in the reels below, users can scan images, objects, and locations to reveal augmented experiences or point their devices to see augmentations seamlessly appear as if they were part of the physical environment.

Most of the use cases above were created by experienced independent developers and AR agencies for commercial purposes.

However, with the authoring tools and technical documentation available today (more on these, below), anyone can create AR experiences. Including teachers and students, no matter the level of expertise.

Why augmented reality technology and why NOW?

Timing is everything. And yes, AR has been around for a while and had a spark of fame back in 2016 when Pokémon Go was launched – (side note, don’t miss this tutorial: how to build an app like Pokémon Go in three simple steps). 

Lately, however, tech giants, enterprises, and fortune 500 companies have been keeping a keen eye on the technology – and for good reason! AR growth predictions are incredibly promising, and the technology is already starting to get a significant chunk of the market. 

It is the dawn of AR. The technology is spreading fast and NOW is the perfect time to explore AR with some hands-on action. Students and educators worldwide are taking a closer look at augmented reality tools and the opportunities this technology brings.

The sooner you start the more prepared you will be to deliver when the AR market is at full blast.

We can help you get started NOW!

The Wikitude Academy: free Augmented Reality tools for students and educators

Back in 2012, Wikitude started a program to support academics interested in learning more about AR. As AR-technology providers keen on making the technology advance, we help by offering free access to our augmented reality platform and tools. The program was a success then and continues to thrive until this very day. 

We receive many requests and grant multiple educational AR licenses on a daily basis to students and teachers around the globe.

Teachers reach out to the Wikitude Academy when they are interested in expanding their knowledge or as a means of starting the journey of enhancing their teaching methods with the benefits of AR itself: adding digital augmentations (audio, video, 3D models, instructions) to books, machines, lab equipment, and more.

Our student requests, on the other hand, come from all backgrounds: high-school students creating independent projects, university students for project assignments and final graduation or master thesis, apprentices seeking to learn more about AR during short-term technology courses. 

How does the Wikitude Academy work?

Easy! Eligible students and educators can apply by filling out the application form on the Wikitude Academy page. The Wikitude team analyses each application individually to review the project and eligibility requirements. The final decision is informed by email.

To be eligible to apply students must be actively enrolled in (and professors currently employed by) an accredited academic institution.

The Wikitude EDU AR SDK allows users to create one AR App that can be deployed on Android, iOS, and Windows. Further details, requirements, and restrictions can be found in the Academy page linked above.

Wikitude AR SDK: augmented reality software development kit

Academics with coding knowledge (or code learning in progress), can choose to work with our main product, the Wikitude AR SDK.

The Wikitude SDK allows users to develop AR apps that can recognize, track and augment images, objects, scenes, and geographical locations. 

In the EDU version, students can work with Native or JavaScript API or choose Unity, Cordova, Xamarin or Flutter extensions to create cross-platform AR experiences for smartphones, and tablets across Android, iOS and Windows. Please note, digital eyewear projects are reserved for commercial licenses only.

Wikitude Studio Editor: create AR apps without code

Regardless if you have coding experience or not, you might want to check out the Wikitude Studio Editor.

Wikitude Studio Editor is a web-based authoring tool used for creating augmented reality experiences. 

With useful features and an intuitive interface, it should help you accomplish AR tasks without any particular technical skills. Studio Editor lets you add augmentations to your targets in a drag-and-drop manner, as well as edit and remove them. Augmented projects can be exported for further use or shared for consumption.

Wikitude documentation and AR tech articles

For support and guidance in exploring augmented reality, students and teachers are invited to navigate through our extensive documentation and forum threads. 

Additionally, the augmented reality articles below will give readers access to technical details and sample app instructions:

Download Augmented Reality SDK trial for students and educators

Are you a student or educator and want to give our augmented reality tools a try before sending your official EDU application? Access our download page to choose your platform of choice, view all plugin options and other dev tools. After the download, you will be directed to a registering page to get started.

Apply for a free Wikitude EDU SDK NOW!

AR is inspiring, challenging, useful, innovative, and growing fast. The earlier you start the better.

Dare to create the next big AR use case? Click the button below to start your augmented reality journey.

AR features

Object & Scene Tracking: Augmented Reality Use Cases and How-to

New: Create object tracking AR experiences using 3D models as an input method (such as CAD, glTF 2.0 and more). Get started with CAD tracking.

As augmented reality technology expands its capabilities it is important, as a developer, to be up to date with which AR features are currently available.

In this first edition of our new AR-technology series, Wikitude is presenting its main augmented reality features one by one. Starting off with Object & Scene Tracking AR.

Object & Scene Recognition and Tracking augmented reality

Object & Scene Tracking AR Use Cases

Before we start with formal introductions, here is a video containing different Object & Scene Tracking AR features being used in context.

As seen in the video, Object & Scene Tracking has a wide variety of use cases: maintenance and remote assistance, tourism, museums, gaming, consumer products, toys and more.

For this marker-based AR experience to trigger, it needs to detect a target. The target is a pre-recorded map of the object. Let’s break down the AR feature categories and talk about types of object targets that work well.

Object Tracking

This AR feature is used to recognize and track smaller arbitrary objects, superimposing digital content to produce augmented reality experiences.

Objects that can be pre-mapped as AR targets include but are not limited to:

  • Toys
  • Monuments and statues
  • Industrial objects
  • Tools
  • Household supplies

Scene Tracking

This AR feature is used to recognize and track larger structures that go beyond small-sized objects as well as area targets and machinery. Digital content can be added in the form of, annotations, videos, step-by-step instructions, links, directions, text, 3D augmentations, and more.

Structures that can be pre-mapped as AR targets include but are not limited to:

  • Factory floors and industrial sites
  • Large complex machinery
  • Large indoor spaces
  • Exhibition booths and showrooms
  • Rooms and apartments
  • Building façades
  • Museums
  • Squares, fountains, courtyards

Scene tracking enables the creation of continuous and persistent AR experiences for a scanned space or large-scale object. It identifies and tracks the features in your chosen scene/area to be accessed on a wide variety of phones, tablets, and AR smartglasses.

For optimal performance, scanned spaces should have little to no variation compared to the 3D map generated for the target. Extension or alterations of maps are possible to reflect changes in the environment (learn more).

Object Targets: how to create a 3D target map reference

In order to build Object Targets, it is necessary to create a pre-recorded map of the object that will then be used to trigger the AR experience.

The Object Target map creation workflow is simple:

  • Collect images* or 3D models of the object or scene (best practices)
  • Easily convert images into a Wikitude Object Target Collection (.wto) using Studio Editor
  • Use the .wto file in your AR app project

Once the reference map is done, developers still have the option of extending the map with images from different backgrounds and that cover additional areas of the object to increase recognition accuracy.

For detailed instructions, access the how to create Object Targets section of the Wikitude Documentation.

*Keep in mind the new and improved object mapping process (SDK 8 and up) uses images or 3D models such as CAD, glTF 2.0, and others, as source material. Previous SDK versions use video-based materials instead.

Object & Scene Tracking technology is progressively evolving to include a wider variety of real-world environments and gadgets. Going beyond objects, it is even possible to use Extended Tracking to continue viewing the AR experience when the target is no longer in sight.

Download the Wikitude SDK

To start creating your AR projects with a free Wikitude SDK trial key, create a Wikitude account and download the platform of your choice. This account also gives you access to Studio Editor, our web-based tool that allows you to generate, manage and publish your AR experiences without coding.

For commercial purposes, access our store to choose your package or contact our team to discuss which license is the best match for your AR project.

Check the articles below to review other AR features in detail:

AR features

Image Recognition and Tracking: Augmented Reality Use Cases And How-to

Image Recognition and Tracking is a Wikitude augmented reality feature that gives apps the ability to detect 2D images, triggering digital content to appear in the form of videos, slideshows, 360° panoramas, sound, text, 3D animations, and more.

This article contains impressive Image Recognition and Tracking AR use cases, helpful best practices, and documentation guides, and allows developers to explore the various image-based augmented reality features made possible with the Wikitude AR SDK.

Image Recognition and Tracking Augmented Reality Use Cases

Before we get into specifics, let’s start with classic Image Recognition and Tracking examples.

The video below contains a selection of Image Recognition AR showcases powered with Wikitude augmented reality technology.

Brands are using Image Recognition and Tracking augmented reality technology to tell their stories (Jack Daniel’s), display their products (Busch-Jaeger), explain their technology (Lufthansa Technik), entertain (Mirage By City Social), augment printed magazines (Abenteuer und Reisen), and even to deliver product messages (Francesco Rinaldi).

Museums and Cultural Institutions are using Image Recognition and Tracking to digitally display insects (Butterfly Pavilion) and handmade artifacts (Terracotta Warriors), to provide exposition and art piece overviews (Grand Palais), and much more.

Image Recognition and Tracking AR Technology Introduction

As seen in the use case section above and GIF below, Image Recognition and Tracking is the AR feature that enables apps to recognize and track specific images to properly superimpose digital content onto them.

Without getting too deep into technical aspects, Image Tracking relies on advanced Computer Vision technology to detect and augment images. To implement this functionality, developers must first predetermine which images they would like to use as AR triggers – also known as Image Targets.

The preestablished Image Targets are stored in the form of a Target Collection and are identified by the Wikitude ImageTracker, which is responsible for analyzing the live camera view.

For an in-depth explanation and review, access our documentation section according to your platform of choice.

Keep in mind the Image Target to be recognized and augmented can be the identification tag of an electronic device or industrial machine, a cereal box, or the label of an everyday product like the shampoo bottle example below:

Herbal Essences AR Experience – Google PlayApp Store

Image Recognition distance

The Wikitude SDK performs exceptionally well with Image Targets that are not close to the user. Targets (size: A4 / US-letter) can be recognized from more than three meters away. Moreover, image targets can be recognized and augmented even when they occupy a mere 1% of the device screen area.

This makes it ideal for use cases in which users do not have the target image within hand reach. Think electronic screens at concerts which could display a target to be scanned by the audience, marketing posters in the distance, industrial MRO practices with image targets spread out the production line indicating the next steps to ensure quality and compliance, etc.

Transparent Areas in Image Targets

The Transparent Area feature in Image Tracking is used to support those particular types of image targets that do not fit the typical rectilinear image shape.

A good example is the personalized Wikitude wallet ninja, containing cutouts and irregular outlines, as seen in the image and demo below.

Wikitude wallet ninja

The importance of this Image Recognition function lies in the fact that the areas of the image target that are transparent vary according to the background they are placed in. The instability of the image target can poorly affect the AR experience.

The demo below compares the AR image-based performance of platforms with and without support for Transparent Areas for Image Targets. The stability of the augmentation speaks for itself.

AR demo using Image Target with Transparent Areas

Other examples of images containing transparent areas beyond the main outlines include tattoos, stickers, logos, images with cutouts and basically any image file containing parts with alpha channel transparency.

The Image Recognition and Tracking use cases displayed above involve augmenting one single image target at a time. However, the Wikitude SDK allows developers to create image-based AR experiences that go beyond.

Multiple Image Recognition and Tracking

As the name suggests, this AR feature is not limited to working with one single image at a time.

AR developers can use Multiple Image Recognition and Tracking to simultaneously recognize and track several different or identical image targets. The augmentations can be static or interactive, being possible to adjust distance and transformation (translation and rotation) settings in the development phase.

The best way to grasp this concept is by checking some visual representations:

Static and Identical Augmentations on Multiple Image Targets

Interactive Augmentations on Multiple Image Targets

Multiple Image Targets shelving solution in retail

Having the ability to augment multiple images at a time, identical or not, greatly expands the AR use case possibilities and solutions. But it doesn’t stop there. The Wikitude SDK allows AR experiences to persist beyond the initial image target.

Extended Tracking

There are certain AR use cases in which the digital augmentations should remain even when the image target is no longer in sight. That is when Extended Tracking steps in. Developers can activate this function for each target individually when needed.

Extended Tracking showing augmentations beyond the Target

This Extended Image Recognition functionality is ideal for digitally projecting subsurface utilities, like underground pipelines to avoid during excavations or tubulation systems behind walls, as seen above. It can also be used for displaying augmented instructions and path guides, adding digital continuation to paintings, and more.

Cloud Recognition

Augmented reality technology works perfectly fine on device and offline. As a matter of fact, with the Wikitude SDK, apps have the ability to recognize up to 1,000 images without a network connection. However, for bigger projects that surpass this number, we offer Cloud Recognition.

Cloud Recognition is the online storage solution for large-scale AR projects which allows developers to host up to 100,000 target images in one collection to enable fast, reliable and scalable cloud-based online AR experiences. Moreover, cloud recognition allows you to change the target images and augmentations without having to republish the app in the stores.

Wine label recognition with large target database requirements

Regardless of which Image Recognition feature you choose to work with, be it cloud-based, classic single target, extended, or multiple, it is important to have a solid Image Target base.

Image Target Guidelines

At the root of all Image Recognition AR experiences lies a target. Therefore, to achieve the best Image Recognition & Tracking AR results it is important to work within the Image Target guidelines.

For high-performing image-based AR experiences, access: Image Targets: Guidelines, Tips, and Tricks to learn more about optimal image dimensions, aspect ratios, contrast, patterns, textured areas, image ratings and more.

Once you have the ideal Image Targets in hand, the Target Management documentation will guide you through the Target Collection creation process.

In the video below, we explain the ground rules of Image Tracking and how you can use it.

Wikitude AR SDK download (free trial)

To create an Image Recognition and Tracking AR experience yourself, download a free trial of the Wikitude SDK – and follow the instructions listed in the Sample section inlcuded in each set-up guide.

Visit our download page to view other platforms and smart glass SDK options like HoloLens.

How-to: sample instructions

Access the links below for detailed code and instructions on how-to enable Image Recognition and Tracking AR experiences.

Image Recognition and Tracking augmented reality is ideal for augmenting magazines, books, user manuals, packaging, catalogs, coasters, posters, gaming cards, machinery labels, logistic tags, you name it!

However, if your AR project calls for augmenting objects & larger structures, or should your augmentations need to seamlessly appear out of the blue – without a target marker, check out these articles:

For commercial purposes, access our store to choose your package or contact our team to discuss which license is the best match for your AR project.

SDK releases

Now available: 3D Model Object Tracking

You spoke. We listened. Work with the new Wikitude SDK 9.2 to create high-performing Object Tracking AR experiences with 3D model files.

Wikitude products are being constantly perfected, adapted, corrected, and updated every couple of months to ensure our customers have access to the market’s latest and greatest AR features and top-performing AR tools.

This Wikitude SDK 9.2 release introduces highly requested new features and functions, and several product improvements and updates:

Wikitude SDK 9.2:

  • New 3D Model Object Tracking (beta)
  • New Alignment Initializer function
  • Improved Cloud Recognition
  • Improved Image Tracking
  • Improved point cloud rendering in Unity Editor
  • Flutter Update
  • OpenSSL Update

Are you a subscription client? Download Wikitude SDK 9.2 to update your platform.

Wikitude SDK Expert Edition 9.2

Advanced augmented reality features for development in Unity.

Wikitude SDK 9.2 Expert Edition features at a glance:

  • 3D Model Object Tracking (Beta)
  • Alignment Initializer
  • High-end Image Tracking (single & multiple)
  • Cylinder Tracking (single & multiple)
  • Cloud Recognition v.2
  • Point cloud rendering in Unity Editor
    General improvements and additional features: edit color and point size
  • Update OpenSSL
    Encryption library update brings more communication security
  • Multiple Trackers (image + object + positional tracking)
    Enhance images, objects, and the world in one unique AR experience.

New and improved features in Expert Edition 9.2

3D Model Object Tracking (beta)

Wikitude Object Tracking technology is the AR feature of choice when digital content needs to be seamlessly superimposed and attached to real-world objects.

Today, Wikitude is proud to introduce the beta version of a new object target input method using 3D models. This feature enables better recognition and tracking and incorporates a greater range of recognizable and trackable physical objects.

As many of you may already know, a Wikitude Object Tracking AR experience is triggered when the user’s device finds an equivalent target reference in the live camera viewfinder. This target reference is a digital pre-recorded map of the physical object called object target(.wto). The object target reference map, up until today, could be created with images as the source material.

With Wikitude SDK 9.2, beta testers now have the additional possibility of using 3D models as the source material for the object target reference map creation process.

The new augmented reality object tracking input method works with glTF 2.0 files, CAD models, and other 3D model formats.

3D Model Object Tracking benefits at a glance:

  • More object target input methods available: images and 3D models can be used as source materials
  • Input source materials are interchangeable and combinable: work with solely images, solely 3D models, or a combination of the two
  • Greater range of recognizable and trackable physical objects: using 3D models as input is ideal for feature-poor, reflective, and low-textured objects
  • Improved recognition and tracking performance: 3D models have the potential to expand the target map and improve object tracking performance

Access our augmented reality tracking guide to learn more.

Images or 3D models: the choice is yours.

By adding the option to work with 3D models as input for creating object references, Wikitude now offers the broadest choice when it comes to working with Object Targets.

From a developer perspective, both approaches (image-based and 3D model) have their justification. Advantages of both approaches:

Image-based generation3D model generation
• Low entry barrier: images from a regular smartphone are enough• 3D model provides accurate information about the object
• Supports objects in which no 3D model is available• Can support object with varying colors
• Quick to try out• Can support textureless objects with uniform surfaces and high amount of reflective parts
• Reference map can be easily extended with additional images• Easy to integrate into existing CAD/CAM workflow
• Can carry several “versions” of the same object with different visual properties, increasing stability and recognition accuracy• Robust against light changes
• Captures visual information that is very close to what the user will see• The actual object does not have to be present to generate the Object Target.
• Larger scenes can be easily covered with this approach• Full 360° object is available as reference, which might be hard for objects that are difficult to access

Start working with 3D Model-based Object Tracking: beta testing program

Are you already working with 3D-model projects and have experience with AR? See the potential for an interesting 3D model based Object Tracking AR use case? Contact us for a chance to be part of the beta testing team. Selected partners will receive a free individually customized Object Target reference map for testing.


Alignment Initializer

The Wikitude AR SDK offers an Automatic Initialization process, meaning a user can recognize and track objects (and images) by freely pointing a device from any angle and distance.

SDK 9.2 introduces an alternative process called Alignment Initialization that guides the user towards a specific (usually ideal) viewpoint when pointing a device to recognize an object.

Benefits of the new Alignment Initializer object recognition function:

  • Can be used for objects that are hard to recognize automatically: objects that have no clear texture or texture is unreliable. An unreliable texture could be the case that an object has different colors or that the areas keep changing (e.g. mud, stickers,…).
  • Guides the user to the ideal viewpoint (perspective) from which the object can be recognized and tracking can be started: this viewing guide helps to communicate what the user is expected to do. The actual UI implementation of the Alignment Initializer can be freely chosen by the developer and can range from showing an outline to a rendered 3D view that can be manipulated by the user.
Testing Alignment Initializer: sample app

Download Wikitude SDK Expert Edition 9.2 to test the new Alignment Initializer feature which contains an Alignment Initialization AR experience using a traditional traffic stop sign.

High-end Image Tracking (single & multiple)

The Wikitude team works closely with clients and thankfully welcomes all product feedback coming from our awesome AR community. Thanks to this fruitful exchange, we were able to implement considerable Image Tracking improvements in this release.

When working with Image Tracking in SDK 9.2 expect great tracking stability when the experience is submitted to short and quick hand movements during the AR scan (independent of ARKit/ARCore). When ARCore/ARKit is present, SDK 9.2 users can expect even more stabilized tracking for image targets.

Cylinder Tracking (single & multiple)

SDK 9.2 brings improved tracking stability for Cylinder targets when ARCore/ARKit is present.

Cloud Recognition v.2

The previous Wikitude release (SDK 9.1) introduced a new generation of online Image Tracking allowing users to generate image target archives up to 1100x faster with Cloud Recognition v2.0.

Since then, our technical team ran a series of tests and experiments to optimize the service even further:

Thanks to an adaptation of the data communication between the SDK and the server, image targets are now recognized from twice the distance using Cloud Recognition v2.0.

Bring your large image collection to life and work with the powerful features and upgraded performance of the new Wikitude Cloud Recognition v2.0.

Download Wikitude SDK Expert Edition

Wikitude SDK Professional Edition 9.2

Classic augmented reality features for development in JavaScript, Unity, Cordova, Xamarin, Flutter, and Native API.

Wikitude SDK 9.2 Professional Edition features at a glance:

  • High-end Image Tracking (single & multiple)
    Great tracking stability with short and quick hand movements during the AR scan
  • Cloud Recognition v.2
    Image targets are now recognized from twice the distance
  • Point cloud rendering in Unity Editor
    General improvements and additional features: edit color and point size, …
  • Update OpenSSL
    Encryption library update brings more communication security
  • Update Flutter 1.17
    Power your Flutter projects with Wikitude AR
  • Geo AR Tracking
  • Instant Tracking
  • Object Tracking
Download Wikitude SDK Professional Edition

Download Wikitude SDK 9.2

Active Wikitude SDK subscribers are entitled to the respective SDK version updates released throughout their term. Follow the links below to update your Wikitude SDK license:

New to Wikitude? Download a free Wikitude trial version for testing purposes and contact our team to discuss upgrade possibilities.

To explore all SDK options, including smart glasses, plugins, and other dev tools, please access our download page:

Wikitude Download PAGE

Interested in creating an AR project of your own? Access our store to choose your package or contact our team to discuss your specific AR requirements in detail.

Toys & Games

Augmented Reality Toys

Building the next generation of immersive play.

Augmented Reality Toy experience feat. Remote Control Carrera® Car

Augmented Reality is shaping the future of play. From physical toys to card games, 2020 has seen a rapid expansion of AR-powered experiences for kids.

To demonstrate how toy manufacturers can leverage the technology, Wikitude created an impressive Augmented Reality Toy experience for a remote control car. It not only shows the reliability of Object Tracking but also introduces innovative simultaneous AR Tracking functions (Object + Image + Positional Tracking).

What is real and what is digitally augmented?

The objective of the toy racer is to complete two full laps in the least amount of time without surpassing the digital boundaries of the augmented track.

Augmented Reality Toy Experience Analysis

Technology Used in the AR Experience

The interaction between the real-world toy car and digital elements is powered by Wikitude Object and Image Tracking augmented reality combined with ARKit and HoloLens Positional Tracking (also compatible with tablets and smartphones).

Augmented Reality Demo with Simultaneous AR Tracking: Object + Image + Positional

Wikitude Object Tracking

Object Target: Carrera® Remote Control Toy Car

With the advances in Wikitude Object Tracking technology, it is possible to create reliable AR experiences that perform exceptionally well even under challenging circumstances.

The Object is detected and continues to be precisely tracked. The interactive augmentations appear in accordance with the toy’s position, speed, and movements.

Augmented Reality Demo: Object Tracking

Object augmentations to take notice:

  • blue target indicating that the object is being tracked
  • exhaust fumes released when the car is parked
  • exhaust flames that react according to direction and speed
  • tire marks on the asphalt

Wikitude Image Tracking

Image Target: Start/Finish Line

The image target plays an important role in the AR demo as it functions as an anchor point to properly position and lock the digital race track in the desired place.

The augmented finish line board also records lap times and lap turns. A ranking board appears at the end of the race as well.

Augmented Reality Demo: Image Tracking

External Positional Tracking 

For this demo, ARKit and HoloLens positional tracking was used. Keep in mind, however, that other Positional Tracking providers like ARCore or our own Wikitude Instant Tracking SLAM technology could have been used as well.

ARKit Positional Tracking: Digital Race Track

The augmented race track and other digital elements remain steady on the physical asphalt.

Augmented Reality Demo: ARKit Positional Tracking

Microsoft HoloLens Positional Tracking

Wikitude has optimized its AR SDK to support Microsoft HoloLens 1 mixed reality headset devices. In this demo it allows racers to visualize the AR experience in real time.

Augmented Reality Demo: Microsoft HoloLens Positional Tracking

Interactive Digital Augmentations

As seen in the images, the race track has a series of extra digital components apart from the track boundaries itself. 

Observe how the toy car knocks down piles of tires, flags, signs and any digital content in its path.

Augmented Reality Demo: Interactive 3D augmentations Tracking

AR Features Running Simultaneously

Below you can see all AR components – object, image and the positional feature being displayed, tracked and working simultaneously.

Check how the flags on the track turn green as the car passes by.

Augmented Reality Demo: Wikitude Object Tracking + Wikitude Image Tracking + External Positional Tracking

360° Object + Image + Positional AR Tracking

Tracking and augmentations remain steady and persistent at any angle.

360 degree Object + Image + Positional Tracking

First seen at AWE – Live AR Demonstration

Many of the attendees of AWE USA 2019 got to see this awesome AR toy experience in action at the Wikitude booth as well as during Wikitude CTO Phil Nagele’s talk

AWE USA 2019 - Live AR Demonstration

Interested in creating an AR project of your own? Talk to one of our specialists and learn how to get started.

Digital agencies

How to promote your digital agency on a low budget

5 impactful strategies to market your business

Digital agencies come in different shapes and sizes – from full-service to highly specialized and everything in between. Regardless of the type of digital agency your work in, your marketing and promotion strategies have to be on point if you wish to stand out and improve your market credibility.

There are numerous ways to promote your digital agency. Today we will focus on strategies that are not only high impact but also low cost.

5 ways to promote your digital agency on a low budget

1. Create client project case studies

Right off the bat, let’s talk about one of the most – if not THE most – important aspects of promoting a digital agency: client project case studies.

Even though it is well known that case studies are powerful tools for generating leads, many digital agencies fail to promote their successfully completed projects.

What makes a case study good?

YOU might be satisfied with the work you put forth for one of your customers and are fully aware of its awesomeness. However, it is others that need convincing. When putting together a project showcase, focus on demonstrating the benefits that other potential clients will relate to.

Keep it brief, make it cohesive, explain the challenge, and focus on the positive outcome of the solution you provided. And whenever possible ALWAYS include:

  • High-quality visuals: images, videos, sketches, GIFs
  • Quantifiable results: Return of investment (ROI), geo-metrics, registrations, downloads, social shares, etc.
  • Client testimonials: make a habit of requesting a few words from your clients expressing their content with the project itself, and your agency – to be continued on topic number 4 below

Special note for augmented reality case studies:

If your agency is specialized in or also offers augmented reality app development, we cannot stress enough the – often overseen – importance of creating and sharing video demos of the AR experience itself. If privacy policies are not an issue, make sure to get the approval from the client and start growing your online AR case study section for better exposure and lead gaining.

2. Cultivate mutually beneficial business relationships

Collaborative partnerships not only help to naturally promote your digital agency, but also open doors, accelerate growth, drive innovation, and increase your chances of being able to deliver what your customer needs and wants now.

Invest in learning how to leverage professional networking websites such as LinkedIn, Xing, and other platforms relevant to your market. Keep a lookout for providers that offer partnership programs, and make the time to expand your network.

Benefits of professional networking and partnerships:

  • Greater exposure
  • Grow customer base
  • Reach a new market
  • New business via referrals
  • Concentrate on your core competencies

If you are looking to expand your global exposure and get potential project leads, check out the Wikitude Solution Provider Program.

3. Participate in speaking engagements

No, we haven’t driven off-topic. We are still exploring LOW BUDGET high impact strategies to promote your digital agency. You see, speaking engagements do not necessarily have to be expensively paid talk slots in mega conferences – even though they most definitely could be.

Costless speaking engagement opportunities to explore:

  • Webinars: self-hosted or as a guest lecturer
  • Podcasts
  • Discussion panels
  • Onlive events
  • Co-branded seminars

When speaking to crowds, remember to avoid a sales-pitch tone and keep your speech educational and interesting. Catching the audience’s attention and positioning yourself as an industry leader and expert will naturally draw the wanted attention.

Keep in mind, topics 2 and 3 from this article are very much co-related and one exponentiates the other.

4. Gather and display customer testimonials

If you find yourself searching for and reading testimonials and reviews before making an online purchase or engaging with a brand, you are not alone.

As a matter of fact, the survey of U.S. online customers showed that 91% of respondents agreeing that positive reviews made them more likely to use a business (source: Statista).

Additionally, online testimonials and reviews have proven their value: 76% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations (source: BrightLocal).

So, let’s state the obvious:

Positive testimonials and reviews are an increasingly Influential part of the decision-making processes, help establish credibility, social proof and trust in front of your potential customers, and inspire customer loyalty within your digital agency.

Make it a habit of requesting, collecting, and displaying client testimonials to add value and reliability to your agency. Start by reaching out to your most loyal customers – those you know would be willing to give a genuinely positive word about your business and services. And encourage the bulk of your customers to make positive conversations about your brand to help promote your agency and enhance its reputation.

5. Expand social media presence and outreach

According to a Digital 2020 report, social media users have passed the 3.8 billion mark and the latest trends suggest that more than half of the world’s total population will use social media by the middle of this year. Now read that again.

If you do not want to miss a chance on potentially reaching out to half the worlds’ population – for free – you know what you have to do:

Invest in high-quality social media presence.

It is not enough to simply set up an account. Be thoughtful and plan your posts accordingly. Create, select, and share content that will attract your target audience. Use this communication tool to inform, inspire, and entertain and make sure to align your messaging across your different social accounts.

Keep in mind that video content continues to be on a high:

  • 86% of people who would like to see more videos from brands in 2020 (source: Wyzowl 2020).
  • 88% of video marketers are satisfied with the ROI of their video marketing efforts on social media (source: Oberlo).

All the more reason to invest in item number 1 from this article, to create nice shareable case study video content from previous successful projects.

Tackling these 5 impactful strategies will definitely elevate the positive market presence of your digital agency. Have any additional high-impact-low-budget strategies to share? Let us know in the comment section below.

Digital agencies, stay tuned! We have a special treat coming up. Follow Wikitude on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, and sign up for our newsletter to receive the good news first hand!

Dev to Dev

5 ways augmented reality can improve mobile user experience

Improving the user experience (UX) is one of the most effective ways of increasing app engagement, conversions, and customer retention. The important question, however, is HOW?

How do successful mobile developers improve an app’s user experience?

Simply put, they focus on enhancing the app’s functionality, usability, meaningfulness, efficiency, design, and other elements that typically characterize a good UX.

To improve these UX elements, mobile developers usually have to work separately on several fronts. However, there is a medium that is getting a lot of attention lately as it ticks practically all the boxes when the subject is user experience enhancement. Augmented reality technology requires no equipment beyond a smart-device, allows users to utilize their phones to scan images, objects, and their surroundings to reveal hidden digital content.

When working with AR, developers can create an immersive, innovative, contextualized, practical, and meaningful experience for the user. Continue reading to further explore the benefits and practical applications of AR in UX.

5 Ways Augmented Reality Can Improve The Mobile User Experience

  • AR innovatively displays multiple sources of information

Augmented can unite various forms of information and present it in a practical and easy to digest manner. But, to make such an attribute work towards adding value to the user experience, said information must be useful and contextualized. To better visualize this example, let’s talk tourism.

Imagine an app that allows users to scan new surroundings and immediately see relevant digital information seamlessly superimposed over the physical world. Think navigation instructions, cultural text prompts, opening times, business ratings, public transportation schedules, and more; – or less for that matter, depending on the user’s preference in settings.

  • AR allows users to experience immersive engagement

In this fast-paced digital era, it is challenging to truly capture one’s attention. And, with the average attention span decreasing, it probably won’t be getting any easier to do so anytime soon. For that reason, mobile developers have been seeking innovation and getting positive results with augmented reality. Due to its naturally immersive nature, users tend to retain focus and dig deeper into the task at hand when submitted to an AR experience.

Whether the AR app is designed for a student learning a new language, a child playing with a toy, or a chef searching for the ideal ingredients to cook, AR allows users to get effortlessly involved and feel more connected to the product and the whole experience.

  • AR eases communication and collaboration

Gone are the days in which physical presence was an absolute necessity to enable rich, instant visual communication. Yes, we have come a long way since the time of smoke signaling, and luckily, nowadays people all over the world can benefit from advanced video-conference capability over long distances. But things are still changing for the better. Be it business, day to day sharing, or precise remote assistance, augmented reality is taking communication and collaboration to a whole new level.

With augmented reality, users can now communicate with an extra ability to manipulate augmented content and add annotations (draw, highlight, place arrows, share text bubbles, etc.) on the screen that appear and will remain in place on top of real-world objects during live video stream – directly in the user’s field of view. This AR-enabled feature adds a great deal of ease, security, practicality, and efficiency to the user communication experience as a whole.

  • AR makes experiences entertaining

Entertainment comes in all shapes and sizes, but to stand out as a real crowd-pleaser, mobile developers have to give an extra edge to their applications. Pokémon Go and Snapchat are unarguably a big worldwide hit in this sense. However, there is much more being explored in the AR entertainment realm.

A great example is what a London-based Michelin-starred restaurant and bar have created to delight their customers: cocktails that come to life with AR. Customers scan their drink to view an AR series entitled “art through the ages” that ranges from Michelangelo to Banksy, projected seamlessly around their glass. Fun, easy to share, and a great conversation starter.

  • AR improves shopping experiences

Online shopping has become a standard activity for many. But, there are some situations in which nothing beats looking at the actual product itself in its intended setting – nothing except for AR that is. Thanks to augmented reality, users can now experience a product, digitally and proportionately placed in their physical surroundings. This AR capability helps users make the correct choice when planning a buy, saving time, effort and money. This valued user experience can be better understood with a space planning and design showcase.

The Roomle 3-D furniture catalog allows users to utilize AR to visualize any brand product using a smart-device camera. After selecting a piece, users can position and configure the product according to personal preference for a realistic augmented reality view – a great feature for customers and professional sales staff alike.

Due to its versatility and innovative traits, augmented reality is changing user engagement and social interaction by providing practical functionality, entertainment, valuable content, and a welcomed breath of fresh air in a variety of sectors.

Retail, marketing, gaming, decor, industry, logistics, education, and many other sectors are finding, in augmented reality, new ways to connect with and please their audience while getting their message across, achieving their goals, solving problems, and improving the overall user experience.

Want to learn more about AR and its potential? Check out our series AR 101 to learn about the technology, development platforms, and most common use cases.