Digital agencies

How to get started with AR as a digital agency

The importance of augmented reality in modern-day digital agencies, how to build (or hire) a development team, and pitching tips for new and repeated business.

Digital agencies know all too well that they need to go the extra mile if they wish to stand out and attract more leads. There are many ways of doing so, but, staying in touch with innovative technologies to create well-contextualized cases is key in maintaining market relevance.

In this article, we explore why and what it takes to get started with augmented reality technology as a digital agency.

Technology and Digital Agencies

Be the agency traditional, creative, or digital in its core nature – or a mix of the three – there is one commonality amongst these businesses: necessity to adapt to the evolution and demands of the market to maintain relevance.

In the present digital-age day, not surprisingly, marketing and advertising are mainly digital. However, simply working with digital technologies doesn’t cut it. It is necessary to captivate and truly connect with the target audience through inspiring and eye-catching campaigns that bring results.

Most – if not all – digital agencies have probably already encountered augmented reality features to some degree in social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, or Snapchat. And as fun as face filter may be, augmented reality has so much more to offer than that.

If your agency strives to be successful in the consumer-brand-experience field, consider including personalized, goal-driven AR content in your digital solutions and offerings.

Why include AR in your digital solutions?

  • Regain/maintain relevance
  • Score profitable projects
  • Create new brand experiences
  • Innovative and profitable way to enchant clients and end-users

AR is a must-have brand experience in various marketing segments:

Brand storytelling:

Inform, entertain, and engage your target audience while telling your customers’ awesome story.

Customer engagement:

Boost visitor interaction and satisfaction, and increase visibility, sales, and social sharing.

Interactive print:

Turn print materials into portable sales channels or add flair to company flyers, posters, business cards, and other branded marketing and sales materials.

augmented reality for agencies: use case example

For additional inspiration, check our vast collection of clients’ success stories and 7 ways to use AR in marketing today.

We covered a few of the advantages and diverse possibilities of working with AR. But, what does it take to create a successful augmented reality experience? Let’s talk about in-house and outsourced development.

Manpower: in-house or outsourced AR development

Depending on the size of your digital agency, you might already have the manpower in-house to get the AR ball rolling. If that is not the case, hiring an AR development partner might be the best way to go. Below we explore the details of both situations:

1. Outsourced development – working with an AR partner

When hiring an augmented reality developer, there are many things to take into consideration. Reliability, being one of the most important factors.

When searching beyond recommended AR app developers – such as the verified Wikitude Solution Providers, make sure to investigate if your candidate is reliable by checking ratings, reviews, and investigating their portfolio and client network.

Choosing the right developer or development firm is a critical aspect of your AR project. For in-depth guidance, access this complete guide with tips on how to choose the ideal augmented reality app developer for your project.

If you would like to skip the search altogether, contact the Wikitude team, tell us about your project and requirements and we will be happy to pair you with potential augmented reality app developers and agencies within our Solution Provider program.


2. In-house development: creating the ideal team structure

As a reference, an AR app development team usually requires a mix of specialists that varies between Business Analysts, UI/UX Designers, Project Managers, and, last but not least, Software Developers and QA Engineers.

You might already have some of these specialists within your team. To learn more about which role each of these positions play, final costs, and other aspects of the AR app development process, access this guest post by Wikitude premium partner HQSoftware, exploring the Client, Specialist, Functionality, and Content tetrad in AR app development.

How to pitch AR

Okay, so, you are already convinced that working with AR is a great opportunity to expand and improve your digital agency offerings. Time to transform your bright AR ideas into reality.

Below you will find some tips to successfully pitch AR to clients and potential customers:

  • Explain the added value
    Exceptional user engagement; unique brand experience; enhance brand value, drive sales, stimulate conversions; behavioral information.
  • Demonstrate return of investment (ROI)
    Show a clear example of how AR can be linked directly to revenue: e-commerce; in-game purchases in an AR environment; location-based deals; time-sensitive offers; augmented shopping; premium apps; etc.
  • Show the future of AR with facts
    Digi-Capital’s long-term virtual and augmented reality forecast is for the AR/VR market to reach around $65 billion revenue by 2024. And Worldwide spending on AR/VR products and services throughout the 2019-2023 forecast period, should achieve a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 77.0%
  • Highlight the simplicity of the tech
    The Wikitude AR SDK allows developers to easily create cross-platform AR experiences on multiple platforms and devices, according to their needs and preferences.
  • …and most importantly, show a demo
    We can help. See proof of concept section below.

We covered these topics in detail earlier this year. Access 5 tips to help pitch AR for your next project for an in-depth review of the topics above.

Proof of concept (augmented reality demo)

Can’t wait to dip your toes in AR waters? Prepare something you are proud of using a free Wikitude AR SDK trial license – no trial watermarks.

Download now to create your free AR demo

Enhance images, objects, and spaces with extraordinary 2D and 3D content, with support for Android, iOS, Windows & smart glasses. Choose to develop AR apps in JavaScript, Unity, Cordova, Xamarin, Flutter, & Native API.

Our vast documentation section will help you from your very first steps with the Wikitude SDK all the way through to advanced concepts and examples for developing your augmented reality project. Each section of our documentation accompanies a sample app. Use it to get a quick overview of the capabilities offered by your platform of choice.

Additionally, you can access the Wikitude developer portal for specific development-related questions. The portal hosts a very active developer community forum where Wikitude staff members are constantly assisting other developers with helpful tips and advice. You can find How-To’s and a constantly evolving FAQ section there as well.

Questions? Ideas? Curious to know more? Talk to one of our augmented reality experts for inquires and to learn about our special packages for digital agencies.

Contact us to get started
SDK releases

Introducing the next generation of CLOUD and SDK 9.1

The latest Wikitude SDK release delivers improved Object Tracking, support for URP, new samples, and enhanced platform performance. It also introduces an Enterprise Script for objects and a massive Cloud Recognition makeover.

After a successful new version launch, that introduced the advanced Expert Edition, the latest improvement, quality assurance, and maintenance cycle has made Wikitude SDK even more powerful in version 9.1. Check what is new:

Wikitude SDK 9.1:

  • Improved Object Tracking
  • Support for Unity URP 
  • New Multiple Object Tracking sample
  • Enterprise script for objects 
  • Cloud Recognition v2.0 

Subscription clients can download Wikitude SDK 9.1 to immediately start working with the latest version.

Wikitude SDK Expert Edition 9.1

Advanced augmented reality features for development in Unity.

Wikitude SDK 9.1 Expert Edition features at a glance:

  • High-end Image Tracking (single & multiple)
  • Cylinder Tracking (single & multiple)
  • Object Tracking (single & multiple)
  • Multiple Trackers (image + object + positional tracking)
  • Performance and stability
  • Support for Unity URP
  • Multiple Object Tracking sample

New and improved features in Expert Edition 9.1

Improved Object Tracking

Launched in 2017, Object tracking is now as stable and reliable as ever before. With Wikitude SDK 9.1, developers can expect even less jittering when tracking objects, and improved behavior when the user is working with camera zoom during the AR experience.

Unity Universal Render Pipeline (URP) support

“The Universal Render Pipeline (URP) is a prebuilt Scriptable Render Pipeline, made by Unity. URP provides artist-friendly workflows that let you quickly and easily create optimized graphics across a range of platforms, from mobile to high-end consoles and PCs.”

Image Source: Unity

Wikitude SDK 9.1 introduces support for URP. This powerful rendering pipeline from Unity brings the following benefits:

  • Increased rendering speed
  • DOTS support
  • VFX graph support
  • Shader graph support
  • Wikitude URP helper tool in Unity to easily apply changes to sample scenes

You may download the required Universal RP v7.2.1 package and find detailed information and instructions in the Wikitude URP documentation.

New Multiple Object Tracking sample

The Wikitude documentation with SDK 9.1, introduces a new Unity EE sample that enables users to test the innovative Multiple Object Tracking feature.

Wikitude developers now have the resources to easily cut out and create objects to use for experimenting with interactive Multiple Object Tracking technology.

The new sample contains 3 chemical elements represented in the form of dodecahedrons, and enables users to combine them to create up to 5 different molecular compounds:

  • CO (Carbon monoxide)
  • CO2 (Carbon dioxide)
  • O2 (Oxigen)
  • H2O (Water)
  • CH2O (Formaldehyde)

This interactive Multiple Object Tracking AR experience does not require the latest and greatest smart devices to work, and runs smoothly on most modern smartphones. Check the documentation and try it out for yourself! 

Download Wikitude SDK Expert Edition

Wikitude SDK Professional Edition 9.1

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

Wikitude SDK 9.1 Professional Edition features at a glance:

  • Geo AR Tracking
  • High-end Image Tracking (single & multiple)
  • Instant Tracking
  • Object Tracking
    • decreased jittering when tracking
    • Improved behavior when using camera zoom
  • Performance and stability
Download Wikitude SDK Professional Edition

New Wikitude services and support

Wikitude Enterprise API Script for object targets 

Generate object target collections on-premises.

To work with Wikitude Object Tracking technology, some pre-processing is involved to transform the target data into a WTO file – which contains all the information required to recognize and track a certain target.

Although one can create these files via a RESTful API, in certain scenarios (and security policies) uploading object target assets to the Wikitude Server is not the preferred solution.

The Wikitude Enterprise Script allows developers to create WTC (for image targets) and now also WTO files (for object targets) offline in their own environment, on a Linux machine.

Contact our team to generate object target collection on-premises.

Cloud Recognition v2.0

Generate image target archives up to 1100x faster with Wikitude Cloud Recognition v2.0.

Wikitude’s fast, scalable, and reliable recognition solution for large image target collections went through a massive makeover. The platform now allows developers to create image target archives in a fraction of the time and has boosted target recognition distance and speed.

This update is the final step of a large internal project re-working all internals of the Wikitude Cloud Recognition services. With this update you will enjoy:

  • Faster target collection generation – especially useful if target collections grow bigger
  • Improved recognition rates: this means many more images will be successfully recognized
  • Faster recognition and recognition from a larger distance
  • Support for transparent images: we introduced this feature to on-device recognition in SDK 8.5, now you can upload images containing transparent areas as well for Cloud Recognition

The comprehensive update has sped up the target collection archive generation processing time over 1000-fold. And, as seen in the video below, target recognition speed and distance is considerably higher:

Cloud Recognition: v1 x v2

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

The new update will be rolled out behind the scenes and enabled for Cloud customers (EU server) automatically in the next weeks without a need for updating the cloud archive or SDK.

Get started with Cloud Recognition v2.0 today, and stay tuned as we prepare to bring further exciting news to our Cloud Recognition service!

Download Wikitude SDK 9.1

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:

Download Wikitude SDK

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.

AR features

Geo AR: Location-based Augmented Reality Use Cases and How-to

Location-based augmented reality allows developers to attach interactive and useful digital content to geo-based markers. Continue reading to learn how Geo AR is used, review its technology and origins, gain access to free SDK trial links, and follow geographic-based AR sample instructions.

  • Geo AR Use Cases
  • Location-based augmented reality technology
  • Download AR SDK (free trial)
  • How-to Geo AR: sample instructions

Geo AR Use Cases

Wikitude has been developing augmented reality technology since 2008 and is responsible for having launched the world’s first pedestrian and car navigation system that integrated an AR display – eliminating the need for a map.

Launched over a decade ago, it was awarded multiple times for being a “revolutionary step forward” in the navigation and guidance field.

Even though augmented reality has been around for quite a while (with its first recorded conceptual thoughts dating back to 1901), it was a Geo AR location-based mobile game that put the technology on the map in 2016.

Ever heard of Pokémon GO?

Pokémon Go is not only a big hit in the AR community; it‌ ‌is actually one of the most successful mobile games ever created.

Players across the globe use the app to discover digital Pokémons attached to specific points of interest as they explore the world around them. The Pokémon GO Geo AR app broke impressive records taking just 20 days to gross $100 million in revenue after its launch.

The success of Pokémon GO opened doors and incentives to many investments in Geo AR gaming and location-based AR use cases in general. That is why geo-based augmented reality apps can be found in various sectors: entertainment, navigation, retail, tourism, communication, real estate, and more.

Have a Geo AR game idea and need a little push to get started? Learn how to build an app like Pokémon GO in three simple steps.

Geo AR: Location-based Augmented Reality Technology

As seen above, Geo AR technology allows developers to add digital content to geographical points of interest. This means that unlike the typical marker-based AR features – like Image Tracking and Object Tracking, Geo AR does not need a physical target to trigger the AR experience. 

The augmentations are attached to and appear at specific predefined geolocations.

With a smart device, users can scan geographical locations to view or interact with various types of content: 3D augmentations, video, text, audio, links, and more.

The Wikitude AR SDK includes convenient features that make geo-referenced data easy to work with. Depending on the use case, the sensor-based location tracking will be activated via GPS, compass and accelerometer, network, or beacon. 

Download Wikitude AR SDK (free trial)

The best way to get started with Geo AR is by downloading a free Wikitude SDK trial and following the instructions listed in the sample section below.

Click the button to view all downloading options:

Wikitude Geo AR is available on iOS JavaScript, Android JavaScript, Cordova, Xamarin, Flutter, Epson, Vuzix, and via the 3rd party plugins (such as LBAR for Unity, Ionic, or ReactNative).

How-to Geo AR: Sample Instructions

After downloading the Wikitude SDK, the sample instructions will explain how to create and place a marker at specific geolocations. 

The sample is split into four different interconnected sections. At the end of the series, you will have a complete and reusable marker that has a title, a description, a selected and an idle state which animate smoothly from one to another.

For additional SDK information and help, feel free to access our documentation section and forum.

Apart from working with location-based augmented reality, developers can also explore Wikitude’s wide variety of AR features and check the articles below to review other AR features in detail:

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.

AR features

Instant Tracking: best practices and tracked environment guidelines

Unlike Image and Object Recognition, which rely on pre-mapped targets to trigger the display of digitally augmented elements, Instant Tracking is markerless. So, instead of requiring a mark, it tracks features of the physical environment itself to overlay AR content. SLAM-based Instant Tracking is, therefore, highly dependent on the characteristics of the physical scene in which the AR experiences are taking place.

After discussing Image Target guidelines, in this post we will briefly talk about how Instant Tracking works, sharing best use practices and the characteristics that make up for a good tracking environment.

Instant Tracking: best use practices and environment guidelines

The ability to track arbitrary environments without the need for a marker is a trait of the Instant Tracking algorithm that enables very specific use cases. A classic application is furniture product placement as implemented in this 3D Model on Plane example. But, how does it work?

The Instant Tracking algorithm works in two distinct states:

  • Initialization State: the origin of the tracking procedure is defined by pointing the device and aligning an indicator. The user must actively confirm when the alignment is satisfactory before transitioning to the tracking state.
  • Tracking State: in this state the environment is being tracked continuously, allowing augmentations to be placed within the scene.

Ideal Scene

For best results during the initialization state, a good tracking environment must be used. Since instant tracking creates a point cloud of the scene, it relies on detecting capturable features. For that reason, an ideal scene is one that contains distinguishable elements and good lighting.

Augmented Reality: Wikitude-Instant Tracking-Ideal-Scene

A structured floor and/or carpet work best to detect ground planes, while clean surfaces might be a problem.

Scene Mapping

To get a good map of the scene, different viewing angles and perspectives are necessary.

Augmented Reality: Wikitude-Instant Tracking-Scene-Mapping

For best results take a step back after starting initialization and move left and right around the scene.

Augmentation Placement

Typically, one can walk 90 degrees to the left and 90 degrees to the right of a 3D model placed in the scene (180 degrees). However, there are cases in which a full 360-degree rotation is possible. It will depend on the trackability of the environment and the performance of the device being used.

Learn more about setting up an ideal sample scene for Instant Tracking with the Wikitude SDK in Unity by watching this Unity video tutorial.

Following these guidelines should result in great Instant Tracking results. For maximum performance update your Wikitude SDK to the latest available version and make sure to use supported devices during the AR experience.

To continue reading the Wikitude AR Guide Series, access the Image Target installment.

For more AR information, access the Wikitude Forum to browse through various AR topics discussed by active developers worldwide. Should you have any further questions, please contact for extra support.

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

Digital agencies

How much does it cost to develop an augmented reality app?

Learn how the Client, Specialist, Functionality, and Content tetrad can influence the cost of your AR project 

Augmented reality has been growing in popularity and commercial significance, and is now expected to top 2,500,000,000 installed base and $70 billion to $75 billion revenue by 2023 (mobile AR, smartglasses), according to Digi Capital. With these and many more positive AR predictions and statistics arising, it is not alarming to see that so many businesses and brands are looking to invest in an AR project of their own. And, naturally, one of the big questions that come up, rather sooner than later, revolves around AR development costs.

With that in mind and in order to provide a realistic cost estimation to our AR community and readers, we invited an AR, VR, and IoT development company, and Wikitude Premium Partner to share their experience on the AR cost development topic.

Guest post by Wikitude premium partner HQSoftware

Client Input

The project starts with the client. The client might have a couple of ideas for an app, or the whole specification ready. That will determine the size of the team, influencing the cost of the app.

We can divide clients into three different types:

  • The client who might only have a rough idea of the application and no technical information. In this case, he/she has to work with the whole team of Business Analyst, Project Manager, Designer, Software Developers, and QA Engineer to kick off the project.
  • The client who has some ideas in any form of specification, so a Business Analyst (BA) comes in to polish these specs and make sure that everything is in order. After that, they are good to go with the development process.
  • And finally, the client who has the full specification ready. In this case, no BA is involved in the project. After making sure that the specification is feasible, the Project Manager steps in to decompose the project into tasks. Then, the project starts.
augmented reality app cost is influenced by the initial client input

AR app development specialists

Now let’s take a closer look at the role of each specialist engaged in the AR app development, and how their role influences the cost of the project.

  • The first specialist the client interacts with is a Business Analyst. He starts guiding the client to work out the ideas and come up with a project specification. It describes the value and functionality of the app. At this stage, the BA also determines if the client’s idea is feasible from a technical standpoint. 
  • After the BA has enough information on the app design, the UI/UX designer starts working on it. They may be engaged in the development process later as well to tweak and polish the design.
  • Then the development phase starts. During the process, the client can keep in touch with the team through the Project Manager. He communicates with the client and makes sure that the project is completed in time, with no technical issues, and within the agreed budget.
  • Software developers are the ones doing most of the work. If we are talking about AR applications, the BA might offer two ways to go about the development. One way is having both iOS and Android developers in the team to build separate iOS and Android apps. The other way is to have one team of cross-platform developers — they will build one app for both platforms. Each of those approaches has it’s pros and cons, and they both influence the project cost differently.
  • To guarantee that the final product meets the technical requirements and works properly, a QA Engineer is engaged in the project.
augmented reality app cost influenced by the amount of specialists needed in the AR project

AR app functionality

Apart from the team composition, the functionality of the application also determines its cost.

  • A simple AR application takes a couple of days to build. Such an application is marker-based: the app scans a marker and displays 2D or 3D content. The content can be created from scratch or purchased.
  • A more complex application may have several markers and more complex features. Such features can include social media sharing, marker gallery, etc. It takes around one month to build a complex application — around 160 hours of development itself. Add roughly 90-140 hours of BA, PM, Design, and QA work and you’ll have 250-300 hours of development.
augmented reality app cost influenced by app complexity x hours of development time

3D AR content

Apart from the regular app development costs, AR software costs also include the appropriate content

The client might want to build the app which is marker-based, markerless, or with points of interest. Each type of app is associated with the particular problem it solves, determining the type of content it needs.

  • The maker-based application is the simplest one. It may include 2D markers and somewhat simple 2D, 3D, buttons, video, or audio content to display. Marker-based apps with simple content can often be used in marketing.
  • With markerless apps, the development may get more complicated and take more time. With no markers, the application needs more complex recognition technology, which it will use to identify surrounding objects. In simpler words, the app needs to understand which way to put an AR couch on a real floor. Usually, the content for those apps is 3D and interactive. It also includes video or audio. Such tech can be utilized in product or interior design.
  • Apps with points of interest will display the AR content only at a certain place, meaning that the developer must build a geo-positioning tech into it. POI AR is often used in navigation, meaning that apart from 3D content, the app pulls the data from map services.
  • For more complex AR software, the cost of making the content may be even higher than the cost of app development.

The average cost of a 3D AR content can vary from $500 to $2000, and it can take on average from 3 days up to 2 months. Different objects require a different amount of work depending on the number of details. For instance, building a 3D model of a ship or a human head with complex facial animation will cost more than a simple model of a couch.

Collaboration Methods

While choosing a technical partner, don’t forget to negotiate the way you will collaborate. There are three ways to go about it:

  • Time and material. That approach is the most straightforward: you pay for the time it takes the team to complete your project. You can move the deadlines as long as you have new ideas or want to further polish the app.
  • Fixed price. A fixed price does not offer much flexibility but you can determine the price of the project before you start. You can’t change anything during the project since the deadlines and scope are fixed. Such projects are completely managed by the outsourcer.
  • Dedicated team. It basically means having temporary employees. You can have them work on your terms remotely or on sight. You select the specialists you need, set your own deadlines and change them whenever you want. Unlike the other models, dedicated teams are paid an hourly salary.

We hope the insights and information above will help you better understand the dynamic behind augmented reality app costs. If you are still in the planning phase, access the first article of the Wikitude AR app development series to learn how to successfully start and strategically plan your augmented reality project.

Want to calculate the cost of your AR project, consult on your idea, and get answers to your questions? The Wikitude team and premium partner HQSoftware will be more than happy to help.

AR features

Image Recognition & Tracking: best practices and target guidelines

Augmented reality experiences come in all shapes and sizes. Some have a location-based trigger, while others are activated by features of the physical scenery itself. Some rely on a 3D object to make the augmentation come to life, while others depend on a 2D target image to reveal the digital content. Within the various AR-activating mechanisms, however, it is safe to say that Image Recognition & Tracking is the classic go-to feature when the subject is augmented reality.

If you are working with the Wikitude SDK, the Wikitude App or the Wikitude Studio, this Wikitude AR Guide series is for you. In this first installment, Wikitude shares Target Image guidelines as well as tips and tricks to achieve the best AR results for Image Recognition & Tracking.

And make sure to take advantage of the star rating available on Wikitude Studio, which indicates the quality of the image target. The more stars a target has, the better it can be recognized and tracked. You just need to log in to Studio in order to use it for free.

Image Targets: Guidelines, Tips, and Tricks

Optimal Image Dimensions (500 ≥ 1000 pixels)

Images sized between 500 and 1000 pixels in each direction (width or height) are within the optimal range for achieving high-performing recognition and tracking.

Smaller images do not contain enough graphical information to extract the so-called feature points and larger images do not improve the tracking quality. The uniqueness, amount, and distribution of feature points are the key indicators for good detection and tracking quality

Aspect Ratio (1:1)

Images with a squarish aspect ratio (around 1:1) are the ideal proportion for optimal AR results.
Other aspect ratios such as 3:4, 2:3 up to 16:9, however, will also perform well.

Panorama images or other images with extreme aspect ratios, on the other hand, won’t deliver an optimal tracking performance.

Tip: Crop the most prominent squarish part of your image to use as the target image.

Image Contrast (high)

Images with high local contrast and a large amount of rich textured areas are best suited for reliable detection and tracking.

Color contrast (i.e. green to red edge) only appears as high contrast to the human eye but is not discriminative to computer vision algorithms as they are operating on grayscale images.

Tip: Use a photo editing tool to increase the contrast of a low-contrast target image to improve detection and tracking quality. Keep in mind that the digital and printed version of the image should be exactly the same.

Distribution of textured areas (even)

Images with evenly distributed textured areas are good candidates for reliable detection and tracking. This might be the hardest part to be in control of and often can’t be changed.

Tip: Check the feature distribution by using the heat map function of Studio and crop the most prominent part of your image to use as the target image.

Whitespace (minimum)

Single-colored areas or smooth color transitions often found in backgrounds do not exhibit graphical information suitable for detection and tracking.

Tip: Crop the most prominent part of your image to use as the target image.

Vector-based graphics

Logos and vector-based graphics usually consist of very few areas with high local contrast and/or textured structures and are, therefore, hard to detect and track.

Tip: Try adding additional elements to the graphic such as a logotype or other elements.

Images with a lot of text

Images consisting primarily of large areas of text are hard to detect and track.

Tip: Try to have at least some graphical material and/or images next to your text for your target image.

Repetitive patterns

Repetitive patterns exhibit the same graphical information at each feature point and therefore cannot be localized reliably.

Images with slightly irregular structures can convey similar information to the target audience while providing enough unique feature points to be detected.

Tip: Try a different selection of your image including non-patterned parts or use images with irregular patterns.

Star rating – Wikitude Studio

The star rating that appears when an image is uploaded to our target management tool is only a first estimation of how well the target is expected to work. Even images with a low initial rating (1 star) may work fairly well. An image does not need 3 stars to work well. A 2-star rating is already very good and will deliver good results in most conditions.

Tip: Test your image even if it gets an initial 1-star rating. Images with 2-stars do not need any further optimization for most use cases. The heat map tool can help differentiate between a workable 0-star image and an image that would not work at all.

Supported Devices with optimal performance

Fine-tuning your target image within these guidelines should result in a smooth and steady AR experience. Update to the latest Wikitude SDK version and make sure to use supported devices for maximum performance.

For more AR information, access the Wikitude Forum to browse through various AR topics discussed by active developers worldwide. Should you have any further questions, please contact for extra support.

Stay tuned for the next installments of the Wikitude AR Guide series to learn more about best practices regarding Object Recognition and Tracking and Instant Tracking.

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

SDK releases

Augmented reality for experts – introducing Wikitude SDK 9

We’re excited to introduce SDK 9, a new way for developers to build more sophisticated and immersive augmented reality and solutions.

With this release, Wikitude introduces a new edition of its AR tool: 

  • SDK 9.0 Expert Edition, which brings advanced AR features for Unity experts.

In addition, our standard SDK has also been updated bringing several improvements for the classic AR features for professional developers. 

Continue reading to explore the details and features of each Wikitude SDK edition.

Wikitude SDK 9.0 Expert Edition

Create advanced AR experiences in Unity with the new Wikitude SDK Expert Edition.

Wikitude Expert Edition is a brand-new product built to better support agencies, enterprises, and professional AR developers that wish to create high-performing AR solutions and experiences in Unity. 

The new Expert platform introduces advanced augmented reality features that can be used in combination with external native AR frameworks, such as ARKit and ARCore or as a stand-alone tool.

Wikitude SDK 9.0 Expert Edition features at a glance:

  • High-end Image Tracking (single & multiple)
  • Cylinder Tracking (single & multiple)
  • Object Tracking (single & multiple)
  • Multiple Trackers (image + object + positional tracking) 
  • Support for AR Foundation from Unity 
  • Object visualization in Unity Editor

Below you will find details related to the main features of the platform. Before digging into the specifics, feel free to begin downloading Wikitude Expert Edition now.

High-end Image Tracking (single & multiple)

Thanks to important breakthroughs achieved by the Wikitude development team, developers can now instantly recognize and track multiple 2D images in more challenging environments.

Use cases working with a large number of image targets experience robust performance and the possibility of interaction between the different targets.

Once targets are recognized, augmentations lock onto the physical image, presenting minimum jitter and high stability. Additionally, lost targets are re-localized with ease and from further distances.

To increase speed of app development, the new high-end Image Tracking technology is available for regular ZIP files containing images in plain JPG or PNG format (no need for pre-processing/WTC conversion).

The Wikitude SDK Expert Edition was tested and approved by over 20 agencies specialized in AR and is now available for download for our community.

Cylinder Tracking (single and multiple)

Our community has spoken and we have delivered! Wikitude SDK 9.0 Expert Edition introduces the highly requested cylinder target tracking AR feature.

Expert developers can now create AR experiences that recognize and track images wrapped around cylinder-shaped targets such as drinking cans, wine bottles, longnecks, aluminum tin cans, cosmetic bottles, and other tubular shaped product containers. 

And the tech is not limited to one target. Use the multiple cylinder function to track multiple targets simultaneously and have the augmentations interact with each other.

Cylinder Tracking Tutorial

Learn how to add augmentations to cylinder targets using the new Wikitude SDK Expert Edition for Unity:

Multiple Object Tracking

With the increasing number of object tracking use cases deployed across industries, Wikitude now gives developers the ability to build more complex experiences using different kinds of physical objects.

With the Wikitude Expert Edition, you can now create AR experiences that recognize and track multiple objects at the same time.

Multiple Object Tracking can be used to track identical as well as different types of objects simultaneously, according to your use case. So whether you are augmenting various toys, industrial machines or any other type of object, Expert Edition delivers the best performance on high-end devices, across platforms.

Multiple Trackers (image + object + positional tracking) 

Multiple Trackers was first presented in an interactive remote control car racing demo at AWE 2019 and the technology got a lot of traction since its introduction. This feature combines Positional Tracking (ARKit, ARCore),  with Wikitude’s Object and Image Tracking. 

The technology is now available through Wikitude SDK 9.0 Expert Edition. Download now and start innovatively combining multiple features to create a truly interactive AR experience.

Video by Wikitude partner Cybernet.

Support for AR Foundation

Easily and quickly combine Wikitude Image + Object Tracking with other features from ARCore/ARKit.

AR Foundation is the Unity middleware for wrapping ARKit and ARCore. With the Wikitude Expert Edition, you can use features from ARKit and ARCore directly without Wikitude integrating them.

Object Visualization in Unity Editor

As the name suggests, with the Expert Edition SDK you can visualize the object target point cloud directly in the Unity development environment. This feature results in a faster development process when creating Object Tracking AR experiences.

Get started with Wikitude Expert for Unity

We are committed to providing the best tools and the latest technology to help you create powerful AR experiences.

Check out the Wikitude Expert Edition Documentation, install the sample apps available in the download package, and visit our forum for support and feedback.

Wikitude SDK 9.0 Professional Edition

Create powerful AR experiences in JavaScript, Unity, Cordova, Xamarin, Flutter, & Native API with the classic Wikitude SDK Professional Edition.

In parallel to launching the new Expert Edition, today we are also releasing an update of the classic Wikitude SDK, which is now called Wikitude SDK Professional Edition.

Traditionally built with various AR features and a broad framework choice, professional developers have the flexibility to create powerful AR apps in JavaScript, Unity, Cordova, Xamarin, Flutter, & Native API.

Wikitude SDK 9.0 Professional Edition features at a glance:

  • High-End Image and Multiple Image Tracking – NEW
  • Visualization of .wto in Unity Editor  – NEW 
  • ARCore update
  • Several performance and stability improvements

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:

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.

Digital agencies

How to choose an augmented reality app developer

A complete guide with tips on how to choose the ideal augmented reality app developer for your project.

You’ve decided to incorporate an AR application as part of your digital strategy but don’t have the skills in house to bring the project to life. If looking for an app development partner is your next step, this blog post will help you achieve that. 

1. Define your AR project

Having a clearly defined AR project plan will make communicating and negotiating with your development partner candidates much easier.

Know the main idea behind your AR project and its core functionality.

If you take the time to properly plan your AR project, the chances of hiring a compatible and capable developer are much higher, and the development process itself and final AR project results should be much better. 

If you would like to have a more thorough outline of what you want for your AR project before contacting potential AR development partners, we suggest following the 7 steps contained in this article: How to start your augmented reality project: strategic planning and tips to succeed.

However, if you prefer to plan your AR project with the development partner from the get-go, we recommend having, at least, a few videos and/or links to provide as a reference so you can get the conversation going. Oftentimes, AR developers are willing to help with the creative process, by providing ideas, inspiration and sharing other examples currently available on the market.

2. Cost estimation x budget

Budget discussions should start early on in the AR app planning process, but it’s in the development phase when things transition from rough estimations to the real deal.

The complexity of your app will determine its cost estimation.

As with all else, different developers come at different prices. However, there is one common factor you can expect with certainty:

AR apps, as with other app types, vary greatly in development price. Expect a starting point of around 10 thousand euros. And depending on app complexity, that number could go as high as 300 thousand euros. 

If you have a fixed pre-established budget, inform your development partner candidates so they can state what can and cannot be done in that price range. If budget is not a limitation for your project, simply explain what you want to receive a price quote from the developer.

3. Market vertical expertise

Maybe your AR app will be used for a marketing campaign or is intended to be the next big gaming experience, or it has the purpose to help educate people or optimize processes in industrial maintenance. Naturally, these experiences can be quite different from one another even though they share the same technical background. 

Does your developer candidate have experience in the app category you have chosen?

Check the portfolio of the candidates, search the app stores to find and download other projects they have created, and analyze your findings to see if the quality standards and technology capabilities match your expectations and requirements.

Keep in mind, however, that even though having experience in a certain area is a clear plus, it is not necessarily a deal-breaker. If the overall quality of the developer projects across different categories is high, that could be a sign that they are capable of delivering even in uncharted territory. 

Speak openly with the candidates, ask how comfortable they feel with the type of project you wish to create and use your best judgment from there. 

Regardless of the app category though, it is wise to verify if your AR developer candidate has previous experience with augmented reality technology.

4. Experience with augmented reality technology

AR development requires an additional set of specialized skills that go beyond the traditional app creation process. 

Hire a development partner that knows how to work with AR developing platforms.

To avoid unnecessary negative surprises in AR app results, it is essential that you choose a development partner that has had previous developing contact with AR technology and feels comfortable delivering the precise experience you wish to create.

Ask not only to see previous augmented reality projects of their authoring, but also about the AR tools they work with, how many devices the AR experience will be compatible with (which varies depending on the AR SDK of choice – Wikitude offering the most expansive support on the market), which augmented reality features they can create and any other specifics related to your AR project.

5. Location of the augmented reality app developer

From our experience in pairing clients with the appropriate AR developers (more on that on item 6), we noticed that a few elements usually come to light before the final decision: location, language, business culture, and timezone (for availability reasons).

The world is your oyster: choose locally or overseas.

If some of the items above are important to you, we recommend searching for your AR development partner using a geographical division as shown below:

Keep in mind, however, that with today’s globalized facilities in communication, you are not restricted to having to hire locally. If the elements mentioned above are not a limiting factor sometimes the best fit for your project is located halfway across the globe. If it seems to be the right fit, go for it no matter the distance.

6. Reliability

To the unguided searcher, the quest for an AR development partner may seem overwhelming. But, we can help.

Work with an AR developer you can trust.

As AR technology providers dedicated to offering the best AR tools on the market, we do not develop apps ourselves. However, we do keep a list of trusted AR app developers that have successful experience with creating AR apps using the Wikitude AR SDK

We call them Wikitude Premium Partners.

Not all Wikitude clients are Premium Partners, after all, we have more 130.000 registered developers that use our augmented reality technology. But all Wikitude Premium Partners are highly qualified AR app developers with proven AR experience.

When searching beyond our recommended AR app developers, make sure to investigate if your candidate is reliable by checking ratings, reviews and investigating their portfolio and client network.

Without a doubt, choosing the right developer or development firm is a critical aspect of your AR project. 

If you would like to skip the search altogether contact the Wikitude team, tell us about your project and requirements and we will be happy to pair you with potential augmented reality app developers and agencies within our Premium Partner program.

AR features

Instant Tracking: Augmented Reality Uses Cases And How-to

Instant Tracking augmented reality technology makes it possible for AR applications to overlay interactive digital content onto physical surfaces without requiring the use of a predefined marker to kick off the AR experience.

To better understand how Instant Tracking works and what is possible to create with it, continue reading to review the following topics:

  • Use Cases
  • Introduction
  • Instant Targets
  • SMART – Seamless AR Tracking with ARKit and ARCore
  • Download AR SDK (free trial links)
  • How-to: sample instructions

Instant Tracking Augmented Reality Use Cases

The video below contains several segments of augmented reality use cases using Instant Tracking AR technology.

As seen in the video, Instant Tracking technology can be used for various applications: retail, journalism, marketing campaigns, furniture placement, museums – or simply just for fun, like the majestic sea turtle swimming about in the air.

Instant Tracking AR Technology Introduction

Unlike Object & Scene Tracking – covered in the first article of the Wikitude AR-technology series, Instant Tracking does not need to recognize a predefined target to then start the tracking procedure thereafter.

Instead, it initializes by tracking the physical environment itself. This markerless augmented reality is possible thanks to SLAM – Simultaneous Localization and Mapping technology.

SLAM is a technology that Computer Vision uses to receive visual data from our physical world (usually in the form of tracked points). Devices then use this visual input to understand and appropriately interact with the environment.

To achieve this, the algorithm behind Instant Tracking works in two distinct states:

  • The initialization state: the end user is required to define the origin of the tracking procedure by pointing the device to align an indicator. Once the user confirms the alignment is satisfactory, a transition to the tracking state takes place.
  • The tracking state: the environment is being continuously tracked, allowing augmentations to be properly placed within the physical scene.

This environment tracking capability enables very specific use cases, like the ones demonstrated in the video above.

Towards the end of this article, we will share instructions on how to create a furniture placement sample app that will help you understand and explore the full potential of Instant Tracking technology.

But first, let’s talk about Instant Targets and SMART, two important Instant Tracking AR features.

Instant Targets

Instant Targets is a feature within AR Instant Tracking which allows end users to save and load their AR sessions.

This means, important digital notes, directions, visual augmentations – and the whole AR experience itself – can be accessed and experienced by multiple users across devices and operating systems (iOS, Android, and UWP) at different points in time.

This makes sharing and revisiting the AR experience easy and meaningful. Instant Targets also allows users to load, edit, and resave the AR experience on the fly. Very practical, especially for remote assistance and maintenance use cases.

While Instant Target helps users share AR experiences, SMART greatly expands device AR capability.

SMART – Seamless AR Tracking – with ARKit and ARCore

SMART is a seamless API within Instant Tracking which integrates ARKit, ARCore and Wikitude’s SLAM engine in a single cross-platform AR SDK.

With it, developers do not have to deal with specific ARKit/ARCore code and can create their projects in either JavaScript, Unity, Xamarin, and Cordova. SMART works by dynamically identifying the end user’s device and deciding which should be used for each particular case.  

One of the best advantages, apart from not having to deal with different codes during the development phase, being the expanded compatibility with a wider range of devices available in the market.

Wikitude AR SDK download (free trial)

To create an Instant Tracking experience yourself, download a free trial of the Wikitude SDK – and follow the instructions listed in the Sample section below.

Wikitude SDK for Android

Wikitude SDK for iOS

Wikitude SDK for Windows

Wikitude SDK for Unity

Wikitude SDK for Cordova

Wikitude SDK for Xamarin

How-to: Instant Tracking Sample and Instructions

Access the Wikitude documentation of your preferred platform to follow instructions on how to create an Instant Tracking sample experience.

The instructions start with a simple implementation for basic understanding, moving forward with 3D model additions and preliminary interaction, working its way to the final fully fledged furniture placement use case example.

Create an Instant Tracking AR experience

Learning how to work with Instant Tracking technology is a must in the modern AR world. It not only allows AR projects to go beyond targeted locations, images and objects but it also enables AR experiences to happen anywhere anytime across different devices and platforms.

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.

Dev to Dev

How to start your AR project: planning and tips to succeed

Augmented reality has been complementing campaigns and digital solutions across multiple sectors of the market. From assisting Nissan dealerships with product visualization and sales to telling the stories of Jack Daniel’s and its whiskey, AR truly has a versatile nature. How to get the AR strategic planning right?

If you are interested in creating your first (or next) AR app, it is crucial to keep in mind a popular, yet meaningful quote by Benjamin Franklin: 

“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”

In the app development world, having a clear roadmap for strategic planning is essential. That’s the right way to get the ball rolling and to hold yourself and your team accountable. 

Continue reading to explore 8 steps that will help you get your AR project planning started on the right foot.

Strategic planning and tips for your AR project 

1. Outline the concept and app objective

This step sounds a little obvious; however, it is essential to pinpoint your objective so that efforts can become laser-focused and aligned throughout the team.

What are you creating, and why?

When defining your concept, think about the purpose of the app; how it will be attractive and useful for the end-user; how your business will benefit from it; does the AR app solve a problem? How? Be specific about your vision.

Keep in mind that in the AR app world, sometimes it is not about solving an end-user issue (even though it often is: see augmented reality sewing patterns). The project objective could also be, for example, about achieving a marketing strategy by engaging the user through entertainment (see Ellen DeGeneres’ TV game show AR app) or providing much more than expected from a product (see augmented reality stickers by Mardles).

By the end of this step, you should have written down the main idea behind the project and its core functionality in a clear and concise matter.

2. Define your audience

Defining your audience is very much aligned with the step above, yet, those who take the time to properly explore this step typically experience more success regarding user experience, content, and outreach.

Who is your target base?

Is the AR project designed for a specific age group? A broader audience? Company employees of different backgrounds? Once you clearly define your audience (country, age, gender, area of interest, etc.), take the time to research how to reach and keep your specific target group interested and engaged.

As an example, let’s take a case from the toymaker Spin Master. Knowing that their target group – kids – are, nowadays, so connected to mobile devices, both for entertainment and gaming, they wanted to provide a fully immersive experience into the world of their Dragamonz toyline by extending the play with AR

Use this logic and your research abilities to better connect with and cater to your target audience.

3. Research market vertical

This step is an important one to gain knowledge and align your expectations by tracking the success rate of similar projects in your market segment (how fierce is this marketplace). It is also a great source of inspiration.

What has already been done, and how could you do it better?

Save yourself time by learning from the mistakes of your competitors – both the successful and unsuccessful ones. Check ratings and customer reviews, download similar apps to have the experience first hand, analyze the number of installs, find gaps in the market, and dig deeper whenever possible and relevant. 

The better the research, the better the outcome. Check for design characteristics, functionality, user workflows, and jot down any positive and negative aspects of each investigated app. Then, use that valuable (not to mention free) info to optimize your AR project in all fronts possible.

4. Define AR app features

At this point, you should have a clear vision of why and how you want your AR app to function. Regardless of whether your project is to be deployed on an existing app or a dedicated one, this is the moment to define which specific functionalities and AR features you wish to include.

What are the AR features that will better suit your project?

At this stage, keep in mind that as a developer, it is often easier to settle for what you know. And as a client, you probably don’t want to limit your possibilities. So, take the time to explore the AR tech you wish to work with to see if any of the technological advancements could be a better fit for your project. 

Access the links below to get inspired by what can and is being done in the AR world today:

Once you are up to date with new technology features and possibilities, define all the features you want your app to have and organize them by priority. 

5. Create a marketing strategy

It doesn’t matter how good your final project is if people don’t know about it. So make sure you have a plan to publicize your AR app.

How will you educate users about your new AR app?

Sadly, this step is often overseen and disregarded, but it could be the key element tied to leading your app into a successful path – or not.

Let’s take an example from a use case mentioned in the intro. One could imagine that a well-known brand like Jack Daniel’s wouldn’t need to focus much on marketing their launches, as the brand in itself would attract all the buzz automatically. Not the case. Even though JD would experience success of some sort without even trying, the company planned and acted out an efficient marketing strategy that began months before the launch of the AR app. The results? Thirty days after the official global Jack Daniel’s AR Experience app launch, 30.000+ iOS and Android users had watched over 110,000 ‘Jack Stories’ AR experiences with an average of 5:42 minutes of total session time per user.

So, whatever your budget is, include a detailed and efficient communication plan to let your target audience know about your AR app.

6. Analytics

Tracking data that is aligned with your project goals will, among other things, indicate what is working well, what needs to be improved, and ultimately measure the progress and success of your project goals.

Define the metrics and KPIs that are important for your AR project.

As you might already know, a KPI is a measurable value that demonstrates how effectively a project is achieving its objectives.

The mobile metrics to be tracked can be:

  • generic: downloads, registrations, crashes, upgrades, number of AR target scans;
  • related to engagement levels: sessions, social shares, active users;
  • revenue-focused: conversion rate, return of investment (ROI), in-app purchase;
  • user-experience-oriented: load time, devices used;
  • marketing-related: geo-metrics, demographics, keywords;
  • and, of course, reviews and ratings.

For an in-depth review, check this extensive list of 50+ detailed Mobile App KPIs.

As you can see, a lot can be tracked. Think outside the box, and if it is important for your project, track it.

7. Budget

Cross-examine what was defined in the steps above with the budget available for your project. Does your budget allow you to develop everything you have planned to include?

Align existing budget with the AR project plan.

Be realistic, and trim where needed. And remember that It is always possible to revisit, re-edit, and add along after the initial AR app launch.

If you are not too sure about cost estimates, the next step (and article) will give you further guidance. Just remember to make room for step 5 (promotional strategy) into your budget. 

8. Start the development process

By following the steps above, your AR project outline will be ready to be taken to the next exciting step that will bring your project to life: the development phase!

If you have in-house expertise, your team probably knows how to take it from here. If that is not your case, we have prepared a complete guide with tips on how to choose the ideal AR professionals for your project. Coming up on the Wikitude blog:

Can’t wait for the next blog to know more? Contact our team to get your AR project started today!