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Introducing Wikitude SDK 8

The newest version of the Wikitude AR development platform is out! Equipped with the largest variety of augmented reality features on the market, Wikitude SDK 8.0 is the go-to tool for developers and businesses that wish to create endless AR possibilities and solutions.

Wikitude SDK 8 introduces Scene Recognition, Instant Targets, Unity Live Preview, Windows Support, Extended Object Tracking and even more improvements in stability and performance.

The final version of SDK 8 is now available for developers on the download page. Continue reading below to explore the new features and advancements of SDK 8 or access Wikitude CTO Philipp Nagele’s article for an in-depth technical review.

WIKITUDE SDK 8 OVERVIEW

SCENE RECOGNITION

SDK 8 expands the recognition and tracking spectrum of SLAM-based augmented reality experiences by introducing ‘Scene Recognition’, a feature long-awaited by the augmented reality market.

Scene recognition and tracking enables developers to recognize and augment entire real-world scenarios, rooms and larger objects with 3D content. Think outdoor gaming, digital additions to historical monuments, industrial maintenance, building identification, or basically anything that calls for more comprehensive recognition.

This SLAM advancement also adds a new and improved map input recording process of objects using images instead of videos, as detailed below.

NEW RECORDING PROCESS OF OBJECTS

Wikitude’s updated engine introduces a revised and more simplified method for map input creation. When mapping an object or a scene, developers will work with high-resolution photos instead of systematic videos. This means the input for mapping can now carry different versions of an object or scene, registered through different positions and lighting, for example.

This modification brings great enhancements in map accuracy resulting in better recognition rates, a more stable tracking and reduced development time.

For more detailed information on the new mapping process itself, please refer to the respective SDK documentation under the point “Target Management”.

EXTENDED TRACKING FOR OBJECTS

SDK 8 has also upgraded Wikitude’s computer vision engine to support Extended Tracking mode for objects. This means that during an AR experience, and after scanning the object target, a user can continue seeing augmentations in the surrounding environment even after the initial marker is out of the camera view.

The use cases that arise are many. Scan a water hydrant to visualize the connecting underground pipings before digging through the earth. Scan an energy socket to view the electrical wiring hidden behind a wall. Scan an art piece and continue seeing more at digitally enhanced exhibitions.

INSTANT TARGETS

Instant Targets allows users to add augmentations to physical surfaces, save the AR experience and make it available for others to load and see in the future. Additionally, the saved Instant Targets map can be edited on the fly when loaded.

This functionality of saving and loading experiences creates a whole new range of AR use-cases. In maintenance, onsite workers can leave important messages directly on the machinery itself for the next shift to be aware of. An interior designer can save various furniture setups to load and show to clients later in time. For retailers, shoppers will be able to unlock special deals at store-front and dynamically interact with stores and other customers. The possibilities are endless.

The ability to ‘save and load’ maps is the next step for easy collaboration and sharing of AR experiences among different users, devices and operating systems.

UNITY LIVE PREVIEW

Unity developers will be pleased to know that SDK 8 added AR-view functionality to the Unity editor. Being able to test and tweak your augmented reality project, hassle-free, during app creation greatly reduces development and prototyping time.

Additionally, developers can use the Unity Remote feature to test Instant Tracking using a remote camera (e.g. a smartphone or tablet).

NATIVE APIs FOR WINDOWS

Windows! Finally, the Wikitude SDK will run on Windows 10 UWP computers as well. Starting with Unity, Wikitude’s SDK now includes Windows Support. The Native API options, based on the new internal SDK architecture, support Universal Windows platforms (Windows 10) devices. 

ADDITIONAL FEATURES AND IMPROVEMENTS

  • New internal SDK architecture
  • Instant Tracking: Improved stability and performance
  • Object Tracking: Improved stability and performance
  • Support for Android Studio 3.x and Gradle 3
  • Update for ARCore 1.1
  • Camera Manipulation APIs: tap to focus; set exposure area
With support for iOS, Android and Windows, developers can create AR apps with a cross-platform Javascript API or with Native API to tackle each operating system separately. Unity, PhoneGap, Titanium, and Xamarin frameworks, as well as various plugins, are also available for Wikitude developers. Select your development platform and try all the features of our award-winning AR SDK.

START DEVELOPING WITH SDK 8

Getting started with SDK 8 has never been easier! Here’s how:
We can’t wait to hear your feedback! Spread the news about SDK 8 on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. using the hashtag #SDK8 and #Wikitude

Questions, comments? Let us know!

If you have questions, suggestions or feedback on this, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us via Facebook, Twitter or send us an email at hello@wikitude.com!