Wikitude 3D Tracking (Instant Tracking)


2020 Update: Wikitude SDK now supports 3D tracking, Object tracking and 3D Model as input method (CAD). Learn more.

With this post, we are opening a new chapter on Wikitude’s journey towards augmenting the world! We are happy to share today the first version of the all new Wikitude 3D tracking technology. For our team, augmenting rooms, spaces, and objects around us is a natural progress after mastering augmentations on 2D surfaces. Clearly, tracking in 3D is a much more complex task as algorithms must be optimized for a variety of use cases and different conditions. With this release of our 3D tracking technology, developers will be able to map areas and objects of a rather small scale and place 3D content into the scene.

This is the first step of a sequence of releases Wikitude will roll out as our SLAM based 3D recognition and tracking technology evolves. The 3D tracking (instant tracking) feature is now available as a free trial and packaged in our SDK PRO products. This feature is currently available for the SDK 5 Native APIs only.

How does Wikitude 3D tracking work?

The Wikitude SDK tracks 3D scenes by identifying feature points of objects and environments. By identifying feature-rich environments, the SDK will map the scene by displaying a point cloud over the different feature points.
As an example of how the Wikitude 3D tracking works in a small scene, we will use the scenario of an office table. The richer the scene is equipped with feature points, the better the mapping and tracking will be.


In order to track and map the scene the following steps should be taken:

  1. Launch the Wikitude sample app, which is included in the Native SDK (iOS and Android) download package
  2. Record a tracking map by slowly moving the device from one side to the other of the scene, covering the whole area
  3. 3D point clouds will appear on the screen capturing key feature points of the scenario
  4. Save the tracking map
  5. Load the map in your augmented reality experience to relocalize the scene and visualize the augmentation in real time.

    Download 3D Tracking Trial!

The video below demonstrates the above described steps.

Important note: It is not possible to use both 2D and 3D tracking within one experience. If you use 3D tracking, recognition, and tracking of 2D markers will not be launched.

Developers can now try the Wikitude 3D tracking together with the SDK 5 free trial. A trial key that has been generated on Oct 15 2015 or later is required. License keys prior to that will show a warning Unlicensed feature when you try to use 3D tracking. If you generated a license key earlier than October 15th, just revisit the license page and a new key will be automatically generated.

The Wikitude 3D Tracking is included in the Native SDK download packages for iOS and Android. In our documentation section you can find all details of this new cross-platform technology and follow the step-by-step set up guide to get started (Android, iOS). We can’t wait to get your feedback and are happy to answer questions you have at or in our developer forum.

And before we close this post, here is a sneak peek of what is coming next! Subscribe to our newsletter and stay tuned to our developments on our dedicated SLAM page.

Update 2017: 3D Instant Tracking now available for Multiple Platforms and Development Frameworks

The Wikitude SDK is available for both Android and iOS devices, as well as a number of leading augmented reality smart glasses.
Developers can choose from a wide selection of AR development frameworks, including Native API, JavaScript API or any of the supported extensions and plugins available.

Among the extensions based on Wikitude’s JavaScript API are Cordova (PhoneGap), Xamarin and Titanium. These extensions include the same features available in the JS API, such as location-based AR, image recognition and tracking and SLAM.
Unity is the sole plugin based on the Wikitude Native SDK and includes image recognition and tracking, SLAM, as well as a plugin API, which allows you to connect the Wikitude SDK to third-party libraries.

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