Instant Tracking: Augmented Reality Uses Cases And How-to

Eva Triantafillopoulou

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.

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