Wikitude SDK 9.13: new updates and affordable pricing

Get ready to explore our latest SDK release, new product pricing and a fresh look and feel on the Wikitude website.

We’re excited to share that our latest release, Wikitude SDK 9.13, is now ready for download

Android updates, compatibility with Flutter 2.10.3 and Cordova 11, new sample app assets are some of the upgrades developers will now benefit from.  

You can read details of this release in our changelog and get started by downloading your platform of choice today. 

In addition to the SDK update, Wikitude is becoming more accessible to AR developers with a simpler product offering and reduced price.  

The Professional and Expert editions for Unity will merge from mid 2023 onwards, so Expert Edition licenses and features will be globally available for Unity developers.  

New pricing plans

Wikitude licenses are more affordable, starting at 490 EUR/year for the Standard package including our complete feature stack: Image Tracking, Object and Scene Tracking, Instant Tracking, and more.  

Cloud is at 1999 EUR/year price point to support projects that require fast, scalable, and reliable cloud-based Image Tracking services for dynamic projects with large target collections. Enterprise licenses are available upon request for high-complexity or high-volume AR projects. Visit our store to learn more.  

Get read for headworn AR

If you enjoy working with Wikitude and want to take the next step towards headword development, check out the Snapdragon Spaces XR Developer Platform. We award a free license to our partners and customers leveraging Wikitude as on-ramp for joining the Snapdragon Spaces community. 

If you have any questions our team is available via email at   

We hope you enjoy these updates and are excited to keep building the future of AR with you. 

The Wikitude team 

Snapdragon Spaces is a product of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries. 

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What are Augmented Reality NFTs, and how creators benefit from them?

This year marks the unprecedented rise of the blockchain-powered assets. NFTs are popular among the global creative community as they bring a promise to empower art creators and foster healthy relationships between buyers and sellers.

Many creators tap into augmented reality to make their NFTs even more spectacular. Dive in to explore NFTs and how augmented reality can help digital art creators benefit from this powerful combination.

What is an NFT?

Non-fungible tokens (or NFTs for short) stand for unique digital assets, as unique as the real-world objects they represent. Blockchain technology verifies NFT ownership. Their amount is strictly limited to ensure the digital collectible is one-of-a-kind and thus surge the demand and the price. Unlike most crypto-tokens, NFTs can’t be traded or exchanged for the same token, making them non-fungible.

As the official Ethereum website describes it, non-fungible is an economic term that you could use to describe things like your furniture, certain files, or computer. These items are not interchangeable with other items, because they are unique.

Each token is essentially a code in the blockchain (most likely Ethereum) tied to a particular digital asset and powered by a smart contract.

AR NFT blog

What’s so special about it? Each token has its owner, and the fact of ownership is transparent and easily verified.

Usually, NFTs represent a broad spectrum of digital pieces  – from domain names to GIFs to digital skins for your favorite game character. This year we see the rise of content creators and digital artists turning to NFTs to market their art in a new way.

 Are NFTs just a fad or worth a closer look?

The market of NFT has exploded in 2020, going from 41 million to roughly 338 million US dollars, reports WSJ.

New opportunities drive digital creators from all walks of life into the NFT space. Artists experiment with formats and explore what can be marketed as a digital asset.

As the market matures, it continues to push the boundaries of what creators put out there as NFTs. From the world’s first digital fragrance to digital racehorses or even an original YouTube video that has become a meme for the whole generation (this one was recently auctioned as NFT for $760,999).

What are the pros of NFTs?

It’s not only about potential independent income for creators, who can earn royalties with each sale and resale and benefit from the volatile cryptomarket.

NFTs allow creators to define the scarcity, making digital assets more valuable. The creators decide the quantity, going from the super rare artworks that are specifically minted to be only collectible to multiple replicas of the same creation. Creators can also easily prove the digital piece’s provenanceauthorship, resell it without a dealer and earn resale royalties.

For investors, NFTs bring the confidence that the digital artwork they own is authentic, and the ownership can be easily proved. NFT owners can also freely manipulate and resell the assets they own through NFT marketplaces, potentially earning royalties on the resale.

Augmented reality NFTs: the what, the how and the why

Now, let’s move from the origins of NFTs to the augmented reality for NFTs and explore how these two technologies can work together.

Augmented reality enables creators to provide more depth and context to any digital artwork. Overlaid digital content can be accessed by the user anywhere anytime, projected into the real world through any smart device.

Ever been to a gallery where an artwork resonated so much, you wished you can take it home to admire any time? Now you can own a piece and have it not only readily available but enriched with 3D augmentations, sounds, and other virtual components that communicate with the environment around you.

How can I use AR (Augmented Reality) for NFTs?

At this point, you are probably wondering how can you as a creator get started and if there is any value AR can bring to NFTs.

To answer those questions, we asked the XR creator, consultant, and crypto artist Don Allen Stevenson III and the architectural design studio and research collective iheartblob to share their experience.

Can Augmented Reality add value to NFTs art and if yes, in which way?

Don: I would say yes! AR can add value to NFTs for the very reason that NFT spring value to completely virtual objects. If someone can value a piece of digital artwork, they can truly value the utility that can be provided by an augmented reality asset or experience. I think that one of the easiest ways to fund the augmented reality future is through the use of NFTs, as a way of keeping a virtual receipt and provide ownership in the metaverse.

iheartblob: Digital art has been trying to establish itself within the arts community for years. People still think that it doesn’t have’ value’ if you’re not utilizing physical materials (such as a paintbrush or a canvas). The establishment of digital art is important for other mediums beyond traditional animation or still rendering. Placing a monetary value on the digital, alongside the extension of the digital into the physical has opened a unique prospect for art. 

AR gives 3D designers, architects, and visionaries the opportunity to take their project out of the flattened screen back into the real world which adds completely new complexities of scale, understanding, reflectivity, immersion, and juxtaposition.

Do you think AR use can influence the perception of an NFT art piece?

Don: AR can influence the perception of an NFT art piece because it adds another dimension to it. If the artwork can be appreciated in 2D, I feel like it has even more value and can be appreciated in 3D. If you tied the programming nature of augmented reality you can literally add a fourth dimension, filling up more ways to engage mentally with the artwork.

How Augmented Reality can influence the future of NFT art?

The main way that AR influences the future of NFT is by creating an expectation that there should be another dimension at it and FTEs to create the inherent value that they have.
Don Allen Stevenson III

iheartblob: The future of NFT art will be integrated with all things digital. As the artifacts we interact with within it are often seen as having an infinite supply, some people believe they’re free, cheap, and often worth less than their physical counterparts. The ability to mint and verify the existence of real digital item changes the entire perception of virtual space.

We can imagine a world where we independently or collectively own and govern our virtual overlaid cities through NFTs. AR will work to benefit NFTs as they do for AR, validating virtual space and architecture. 

How to get started with Augmented Reality and NFT?

Don: The best way to get started with AR is to start with tools that are free and available. I highly recommend the free program Blender to learn how to create assets that work in AR. If that’s a bit too scary, start off with a platform like SketchFab and download assets, and start learning how to integrate those into the free AR platforms. There is Spark AR, Lens studio, Adobe AERO, and Reality Composer: each has its pros and cons.  

Next, I’d recommend looking up on YouTube how to prepare assets for video games (as it’s the same pipeline for how to prepare assets for augmented reality). For NFTs, it’s best to start with what is low cost and available. My advice is to start off with a meta-mask account to store virtual currency and then making an account in a marketplace like OpenSea or Rariable.

iheartblob: For us, the simplest way to get involved with NFTs is to get familiar with the crypto Proof-of-Stake ecosystem and the NFT marketplace – we can recommend HICETNUNC. This is a great place for beginners – the minting fee is very low because the marketplace uses the cryptocurrency Tezos rather than Ethereum. 

As for AR, there are a number of simple ways to get involved. We would suggest anyone check out our main tools when creating new MR experiences. We use predominantly Unity3D and Wikitude, especially for Image Tracking and Scene Recognition, which we are incredibly excited about. 

How to use Wikitude’s SDK when creating augmented reality experiences for NFTs? 

iheartblob: Our excitement with Wikitude lies in the ability to harness advanced techniques such as visual positioning systems in the form of Wikitude’s scene recognition. It allows architects and designers to work at a 1:1 scale with our cities and architecture. This combined with NFTs gives the ability to mint 1:1 architectural experiences tied to their location, that become singular or collective experiences for the end-user. 

Did this blog post get you inspired to try Augmented Reality for NFTs? Follow Wikitude on TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn, and sign up for our newsletter to receive the latest news about augmented reality first hand!


6 industries that AR is about to transform

A global pandemic is remarkable in many ways. Locked in our homes, we embraced new ways of connecting with the world and figured that remote work could be as coherent as in the office. Suddenly cut in physical resources, the business verticals had to find alternatives to ensure that processes run as effectively as pre-pandemic. In this blog, we identify six industries that are poised for a complete transformation through augmented reality. 

Remote work and collaboration

AR improves knowledge transfer and helps close the workforce skills gap in many industries. This technology allows over-the-shoulder mentoring for team members and apprentices that can seriously impact remote workers and help workplaces scale their access to information anytime, anywhere.

While the information density and cognitive workload for employees increase, AR helps to grasp loads of information easier and enables new mediums for information exchange. Compared to conventional collaboration methods, augmented reality ensures better workflow by reducing communication efforts across teams and organizations.


This year marked a breakthrough for augmented reality in education, accelerating its transition to a technology that the public can’t seem to get enough of.

With students of all ages across the globe making a sudden shift into distance learning, AR proved to be a reliable partner in bringing to life a wide array of subjects. The ask for digital tools to be easily added to the existing curriculum and keep students engaged perfectly falls into the augmented reality field of expertise.

The use cases span from providing 3D visualizations to otherwise static books and printed materials to creating scalable digital twins of human organs.

Video source: Virtuali-Tee

It will be safe to say that the next decade will mark a wider adoption of AR in education, from school to higher education and corporate formation. 

Companies already leveraging AR for workforce learning notice a significant reduction in training time and improved quality.

Another benefit of AR is the ability to create a sense of physical presence and immersive digital experiences. This gives augmented content for education and training a unique ability to harness people’s attention, even in our age of shortening attention span.

Toys and games

This year showed more toy manufacturers tapping into the AR potential to bridge physical and digital play.

Augmented play is well-received by both parents and children of different age categories. This acceptance means we’ll see established toy brands and startups using augmented elements to boost engagement and increase dwell time.

With target audiences now mainly consisting of digital natives, Gen-Zs, and millennials, the demand for tech elements and AR in the toy industry will only grow.  

Augmented Reality Demo: Object Tracking

Advanced features such as Object and Image Tracking can revamp the classic game formats as we know them. Remember that battered Monopoly game that your family has been playing on and off for more than a decade? Now, imagine adding a digital layer to it to add a compelling twist that brings generations together.

Toy makers can achieve twice as much retention for the same price by investing in added augmented features.

The technology leverages game experiences for the card and board games and helps seamlessly surpass players’ expectations. Added narrative and gameplay experiences help alleviate the parental fear of increased screen time, turning augmented toys into a new means of socializing and exploring the world. 

Read success stories of toy companies using the Wikitude SDK:

Logistics and warehousing

The ubiquity of AR usage can help transport and logistic companies operate efficiently, regardless of restrictions pandemics or other external factors might impose. Equipped with AR functionality, warehouse employees scan the orders and see digital prompts that offer the best route to the precise storage location.

Digital instruction overlay comes as a bonus to the classic navigation feature, making the technology invaluable in boosting productivity and quality control.

With the advancement of smart glasses technology, we could expect their wide use in the logistics and warehousing industry. The expanded functionality of integrated AR solutions will allow combining the value of handheld devices, QR scanners, barcode reading, and printed documentation with real-time interactions.

Architecture and construction

Catalyzed by COVID-19, digital twins and immersive augmented experiences have opened the gateway for organizations to connect the teams and field workers remotely and enhance collaboration.

AR enables remote collaboration with stable two-way video and audio annotations that any team member can access on-site and in the office. Such technological advancements leave traditional ways of cooperation far behind and accelerate the adoption rate by construction companies and the open public.

Imagine a construction company using an app to add a detailed view of the future building for the local community to inform and provide a communication and feedback channel.

The same channel could be used in-house for cross-team collaboration in real-time.

Scene Tracking is a breakthrough AR feature that the construction and architecture sector will rely on increasingly. Spanning from spatial computing, this AR feature is used to track pre-determined environments and large-scale objects. Scene Tracking uses reference points and features in the chosen scene or area, making augmented reality content reachable on a wide variety of phones, tablets, and AR smartglasses.

Get the full picture: Scene Recognition and Tracking how-to

Retail and e-commerce

Restrictions of physical gatherings, canceled events, and closed showrooms seem like a major hurdle for the buyers to enjoy the shopping sprees. But not anymore – augmented reality is rapidly winning the hearts (and smartphones) of a global audience, allowing you to test and try any item virtually in the comfort of your home.

What other industries do you believe AR will transform this year? Let us know via social media using the hashtag #wikitude

Interested in creating an AR project of your own? Talk to our specialists.

Contact The Wikitude Team


Augmenting the future: interview with Martin Herdina

Martin Herdina talks about Wikitude joining the Qualcomm family, growing together with the developer community, and why the future of augmented reality is headworn.

Running a start-up needs strong vision, grit, and persistence. Running an augmented reality start-up? Double that up and mix in a profound belief in an extraordinary team that can accomplish anything.

It started with a vision

Thirteen years ago, we set out on a mission to pioneer the augmented reality industry. As a team of engineers, researchers, product and business people from all walks of life, we came together under the Wikitude’s roof to pursue our curiosity and see what happens if we take another step towards our vision.

Our belief has always been that AR will drastically shape the future of how we consume information, and we worked hard to make that vision a reality.

Our belief has always been that augmented reality will shape the future of how we consume information, and we worked hard to make that vision a reality.

A fair share of wins (some smaller, some larger) in the market showed us that we are on the right path (even though things have been tough sometimes). Wikitude spearheaded the industry when we launched the world’s first mobile AR app. We’ve created tools that have become the go-to technology for developers worldwide.

Using our AR SDK, Wikitude customers and developers applied augmented reality across industry verticals, creating billions of apps and use cases. Through community’s tireless efforts, our vision of augmented reality has been taking shape!

The ultimate dream

But the final frontier was still ahead – not only making augmented reality accessible for everyone but turning it into the most natural experience that hardware can allow. Since 2013, when Wikitude started supporting wearable devices, we’ve been dreaming of headworn AR.

While smartphones serve as an important step, smart glasses would completely remove the friction of looking down on the small screen.

And this is where Qualcomm steps in. The company plays a special role in the XR ecosystem, having continuously shown interest in the XR segment, investing in the next generation of chips and reference hardware. We’ve been working together since 2019, integrating our AR SDK into Snapdragon® XR Platform, showing a glimpse of how the next generation of spatial computing will look like.

Now, when augmented reality hardware and technology have advanced to the point where both started to gain commercial traction, we are excited to join forces and accelerate the enablement of custom experiences powering the next generation of AR glasses. It’s a very exciting journey ahead, where together we’ll set the stage for a thriving AR ecosystem and mass-market adoption.

The future of AR is headworn

For years, we’ve been tailoring our SDK to support a number of headworn devices to enable flawless tracking and help users discover the potential headworn AR experiences can bring.

Why headworn? We believe it provides a basis to experience the true immersiveness that augmented reality is all about. Something that no smartphone can ever bring. Using AR headsets, users can see the augmented world around the same way they experience the real world. See-through displays allow a wide field of view while you have your hands free and can freely move around, collaborate, work and play with immersive experiences.

Using AR headsets, users can see augmented world around the same way they experience the real word.

The absence of friction headworn AR can provide will pave the way to the metaverse, where we will eventually interact and socialize, just like we do in the real world (plus the endless opportunities the digital universe can bring).

Driving adoption
While the expectations for AR hardware grow and the industry slowly gets to the point of meeting customer expectations, we believe that the world won’t switch to all-in-one AR devices in the nearest future. Instead, we are leaning in on the approach Qualcomm Technologies takes in connecting a lightweight viewer device to the smartphone that provides ultra-low-power technology with advanced rendering.

Powered by 5G, this is a pragmatic step toward enabling headworn AR tomorrow, making the innovation accessible for everyone who can’t wait to experience headworn AR.

What’s next?
Having become a part of the Qualcomm family, Wikitude will continue doing what we do best–working on our cutting-edge AR SDK and growing a thriving developer community. Our expertise in well-designed AR experiences, robust tools and strong knowledge of our developer audience and Qualcomm Technologies XR innovation will help strengthen the XR sector and accelerate the enablement of custom AR experiences as the toolkit of choice for headworn AR glasses.

United in the horizontal-platform approach, we share the vision of running a platform for headworn AR that will open up endless opportunities. And Wikitude developers will be the first to make a difference and start creating and experimenting with the new tools.

Introducing Snapdragon Spaces

Today we are unveiling a new beginning: Snapdragon Spaces XR Developer Platform. This developer-first platform is tailored to remove friction for developers and unlock the full potential of wearable immersive AR.

Backed by Wikitude’s 9th generation AR technology and Qualcomm Technologies leadership in the XR ecosystem, Snapdragon Spaces XR Developer Platform paves the way to a new frontier of spatial computing and empowers developers to create experiences for AR glasses that transform spaces around us.

Learn more about Snapdragon Spaces XR Developer Platform to stay in the know

Snapdragon and Snapdragon Spaces are products of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.


Smart Glasses: use cases, challenges, and future potential

Smart glasses, the eyewear technology that layers information onto a user’s field of view, started off as simple front-end displays. Throughout the years, we saw it progressing to being capable of performing complex computer-powered tasks. Below, we will cover a few highly-rated devices, followed by successful use case applications.

Unlike the 100% immersive virtual reality headsets, smart glasses give users a sense of physical and digital worlds simultaneously, providing a much more natural experience. This experience is achieved through either an Optical Head-Mounted Display (OHMD), Augmented Reality (AR) technology, or through Heads Up Display Glasses (HUD).

Despite its continuous growth and value potential in the enterprise and industrial sectors, these wearable computer glasses still face challenges that delay them from reaching mass-market usage.


Facing a defining moment, smart glasses companies currently strive to expand their ground. Even though businesses are finding great workflow solutions through eyewear technology, the public will still have to wait a little longer to reap the benefits of mass accessibility and usage.

Smart glasses producers have realized that to reach mass-market usage, they must first overcome the challenge of balancing functionality and wearability at an affordable cost.

According to Fast Company, “the sheer number of components needed to make AR glasses function will be hard to squeeze into a design that you wouldn’t mind wearing around all day. This includes cameras to pinpoint physical location, cameras to track the movement of eyes to see what you’re looking at, displays large enough to overlay the full breadth of your field of view, processors to power the displays, and the computer vision AI that identifies objects, and a small and efficient power supply.” Furthermore, ensuring comfort design and cooling mechanisms to compensate for intense computation will be key for mass adoption. 

Despite these challenges, there are many smart glasses in circulation today providing great value to various users. Below, we will cover a few highly-rated devices, followed by successful use case applications.

Smart Glasses

Lenovo ThinkReality A6

The ThinkReality A6 AR headset includes inside-out 6DoF tracking to optimize AR experiences and enable industrial versatility. This mobile device is designed to help the workforce use AR applications to receive expert assistance, reduce repair times, decrease errors, streamline complex workflows, improve training quality, and save costs. The device is powered by Wikitude image and object recognition technology.

Epson Moverio BT-300

This lightweight eyewear device contains a front-facing camera, motion tracker, and a display on each lens. The device is suitable for entertainment, manufacturing, medical science, and more.

Supported by Wikitude: optimized Epson SDK

Vuzix M300

These smart glasses provide an agile workplace, with fully connected staff and managers. Industry operations are facilitated by the wide range of apps available, a built-in HD camera, AMLCD display, and more.

Supported by Wikitude: optimized Vuzix SDK

Mira Prism Pro

Since no plugs, computers, or wires are needed, this AR headset offers an alternative way to interact with holographic images. The company has recently raised ﹩10 million funding and decided to focus solely on the industrial use of the headsets. Mira Prism Pro device features external cameras and a see-through interface, allowing hands-free intuitive interactions with the real world.

To be supported by Wikitude: optimized Mira Prisma SDK


The HoloLens is an untethered mixed reality device that is designed to deliver value instantly. Users get the benefits of using cloud and AI services from Microsoft—including reliability, security, and scalability.

Being one of the leading mixed reality headset devices on the market, Wikitude has optimized its augmented reality SDK to support and complement the Microsoft HoloLens 1. 

Use cases

Better than asking what a specific device is capable of, we want to answer a more important question. What are some solutions smart glasses can provide? What is stirring the computerized eyewear market right now?

Video Collaboration

The most prominent application for smart glasses today is most definitely video collaboration. The ability to work together with experts remotely in a “see-what-I-see” system is improving many sectors across the board. Applicable from field service to complex engineering support, remote assistance functionality makes more companies incorporate the smartglasses technology into their workflows.

Complex Manufacturing

Assembly lines are all about speed, productivity, accuracy, compliance, and quality control. These fundamental elements happen to be the exact areas in which smart glasses can deliver. In tasks where every detail counts, automotive and aerospace manufacturers implement eyewear devices to bring real-time solutions to the factory floor.

Logistics and Warehousing

While keeping their hands free and receiving directions and visual cues directly in their field of view, warehouse workers can quickly locate, collect, and deliver items. Smart glasses are substituting handheld devices, scanners, and printed materials. As a result, employees are increasing productivity while decreasing errors and subsequent costs.

Building and Construction

Using smart glasses (or smart hard hats), construction workers experience a safer, more productive hands-free workflow. Structural inspections and errors can also be more accurately held and corrected through remote solutions offered in real-time.

Validation functionality

Augmented reality solutions are invaluable when it comes to maintenance. Smart glasses allow technicians to receive step-by-step visual prompts to help accomplish tasks such as assembling, repair, or maintenance procedures. The head-mounted displays also come in handy for technicians to validate the actions to ensure that every step was correctly executed.

Consumer Level

Even though the consumer market still can grow, we can already see use cases in various areas. For example, AR guides that enhance visitors’ experiences in museums. Theaters rely on eyewear to provide instant subtitling to their guests, while tourists can easily find their way around through projected navigation directions and reviews. Athletes can have access to real-time speed, power, distance, and other indications. Drone pilots conveniently see their drone’s field of view. All these are critical and worthy niches, even if they are still far from mass adoption.

Future potential

The current use of smart glasses is convincing more and more forward-thinking businesses to hop on board. Although widespread public usage is still pending, smart glasses have found valuable areas to operate, develop, and grow. So helpful that it is not surprising to hear that tech giants like Apple, Samsung, and Meta (just think of Oculus market success!) are working on their AR-powered smart glasses.

Let’s take a look at the potential this technology has in store for those still not convinced.

Imagine being able to update the knowledge you need directly to an eyewear database. This scenario allows a hands-free workforce with instant access to targeted knowledge directly in their field of view. Such an implementation would ultimately increase quality control, improve maintenance, provide faster and more reliable solutions, save money on management and training, facilitate remote assistance, to name a few.

Until mass-market glasses finally hit the stores, this eyewear technology will continue doing its magic behind the curtains hidden in facilities, warehouses, and construction sites worldwide.


How augmented reality helps to change the game for gender equality

Read how augmented reality helps increase the visibility of female achievements and contributes to gender equality – one app at a time. 

The Whole Story App

In the U.S. less than 8 percent of public statues represent women. In the UK, a mere 2.7 percent of statues are of historical, non-royal women.

Y&R took matters into their own hands to celebrate historical women around the world. The Whole Story global movement was initiated to build a bridge between technology and public spaces using Wikitude’s augmented reality (AR) technology to highlight powerful women who have made a difference throughout history.

Developed by Current Studios, the app used location-based AR to show augmented female statues alongside existing male figures. Users could locate statues on a map and learn more about the woman’s contributions, as well as share their learnings with friends and family.

Users could view 23 virtual statues in New York City and another 13 throughout the world. The project encouraged people to create and submit more statues of iconic women around the world, hoping one day to be present in all continents. Susan B. Anthony, Florence Nightingale, Nina Simone, Marie Curie and Maria Tallchief are examples of AR statues you could find when browsing the app’s geo-AR map.

The Whole Story app by Current Studios

There are many, many untold stories of women throughout the world. What’s really meaningful about this tool is that it gives people the chance to tell their own stories.
Catherine Patterson | Director of Innovation | Y&R

Building historical pieces can take a long time, require long approval processes and are highly costly. For this reason, the global communications firm chose to use augmented reality. “We don’t want to wait for statues to be built, so we took it into our hands,” says Shelley Diamond, chief client officer at Y&R.

The Whole Story app is a great example of how technology can inspire actions in real life. In 2020 Netflix followed the same logic and honored the oft-forgotten real-life sisters of famous men. The streaming pioneer company has planted multiple statues across the UK honoring women whose achievements have been overshadowed by their famous brothers, including. Among those, the public could see the statues of Charles Dickens’ sister Frances Dickens, Mozart’s sister Maria Anna Mozart, Princess Helena Victoria, sister of King Edward VII.

Creating new realities

Technology creates numerous opportunities to reduce gender inequality: not only in history but also in our present.

Female employees make up between 28 percent (Microsoft) and 42 percent (Amazon) of the workforce at major tech companies.

Albeit “slow adopters” of gender equality practices, technology companies worldwide demonstrate increasing efforts in hiring and empowering women in the workplace.

The augmented reality and virtual reality industries seem particularly keen on improving the number of female leaders in the field. Among the most outstanding personalities, a globally recognized thought leader, futurist, and XR evangelist Cathy Hackl paves the way.

On the organizational level, Women in XR (WXR) and Women in Immersive Tech Europe are an example of a directed effort to bring more gender diversity to the augmented reality industry. Both organizations aim to elevate women leaders and advance equality in emerging technologies. In 2018, AWE hit a major milestone by featuring over 100 female speakers.

At Wikitude, we take pride in having nearly 40 percent female team in 2021 and growing. A few years ago we also announced our very first C-level female leader: Nicola Radacher.

We strive to celebrate women’s leadership in augmented reality and tech every day throughout the year. Use the tag @wikitude to share #WomentoFollow who inspire in XR and tech community via Twitter and LinkedIn.


How tech can be harnessed to do good in the world

AR is an immersive technology of our future. It generates value in every vertical applied – from factory floors to education. How can brands and organizations use it to do good and bring society’s critical issues into the spotlight? Let’s find out.  

Listen to my voice

“My name is Ann. The Big Issue saved me. I want to tell you my story” – the street newspaper vendor Ann’s face lights up the screen as she proceeds with telling her life story through the AR-powered video.

Like thousands of street vendors across Europe, Ann is usually not spoiled with passers’ undivided attention. They rush past, looking intently at their smartphone screens, barely paying attention to anything around. The UK street newspaper The Big Issue decided to challenge the existing paradigm and use technology to bring otherwise unnoticed stories to society’s eyes and hearts.
The Big Issue AR special experience

Ann’s story was brought to life through the ‘GenARate’ AR app by Konica Minolta. Realizing that the impact companies and brands leave in the world goes well beyond the consumer level, Konica Minolta decided to use the power of omnipresent technology to connect people. Interestingly, the project came to life following an inspiring conversation between The Big Issue magazine vendor and a Konica Minolta team member. It prompted the team to think about how it could help the organization and its vendors to overcome the challenges it was facing as a traditional print publisher.

Selling the magazine has given our vendors structure, a sense of purpose, and dignity. It was really important for us to find a way to engage and empower a wider audience through digital channels whilst not compromising on our physical vendor model.
Oliver Waddington-Ball | Head of Content and Partnerships | The Big Issue

As the result of this creative collaboration, the Big Issue “Tech for good” special was filled with augmented exclusive content. Using the app, readers discovered the story after story – from the animated front cover and living city map to renowned Scottish actor David Tennant reading an extract of a magical adventure story.

People don’t tend to associate AR with a social enterprise like The Big Issue. We used AR in several editions to shift this perception and demonstrate how technology really can make a difference in all parts of our society.
Rob Ferris| CEO| Konica Minolta Business Solutions (UK) Ltd

This initiative was later recognized by a prestigious Tech-for-Good Award 2020, showing appreciation for the positive impact on the local community. But most importantly, The Big Issue collaboration with Konica Minolta marked an essential trend of social impact storytelling spreading wide and far.

Socially distant, emotionally connected 

Well aware of the heavy weight the COVID-19 pandemic has put on the shoulders (not seeing the family members for a long time to keep everyone safe), the GenARate app continues its mission to bring positivity to the world using technology.

Their #STAYHOME campaign aims to provide an easy (and free!) augmented reality tech-for-good tool to help people connect with friends and family. Users just need to download the free app and follow step-by-step instructions in the AR editor to create a personalized augmented message. 

A brand that wants to save the planet

Konica Minolta was not the first partner who used Wikitude-powered storytelling for a social cause. Haircare brand Herbal Essences teamed up with digital agency Tactic and innovative waste management company TerraCycle for an equally good cause. AR campaign was launched to raise awareness for the global ocean pollution issue. As Herbal Essences believes in biodiversity’s critical role in keeping our planet in balance, they wanted to encourage consumers to be mindful of recycling.

Herbal Essences AR
Herbal Essences tech for good AR app

The partnership involved creating recyclable shampoo and conditioner bottles made of 25% beach plastic. This project used augmented reality enhanced product packaging as a portal to the immersive game.

Plastic floating in our oceans and rivers has been a recent topic for discussion and unless people work to find solutions, it stays just that—a discussion. By incorporating beach plastic into their bottles, Herbal Essences shows that they are committed to leading by example.
Tom Szaky| CEO| TerraCycle

Values that drive decisions

Why does social impact storytelling becomes too important to ignore? In our increasingly digitalized society, technology can act as a mixed blessing. With generation turnover and people under 40 years old possessing most of the purchasing power globally, personal beliefs and values become a significant currency in relationships between brands and consumers.

According to 5Ws 2021 Consumer Culture Report, Gen Z and consumers aged 55+ are most vocal when it comes to brand loyalty. At least 56% of Gen Z responders claim that they buy from companies that align with their values. Those aged 55 and up are the least forgiving and most likely to boycott a company entirely because of their stance on an issue. 

The best way out for the brands is to use their power intentionally. Not only in doing good but in choosing the right tech tools to spread the message that reaches their customers’ minds and hearts. And for that, there is no better companion than augmented reality.

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Disrupting the sports industry with augmented reality

Augmented reality technology is taking industries by storm. It is versatile, portable, and easy to deploy, making this tech infinitely adaptable for every sector. Let’s explore how the sports industry is already experiencing significant AR-led change.

Pioneering AR industry since 2008, Wikitude has established a leading position as a consumer and enterprise faced technology provider. This year marks the technology officially reaching its maturity and increased adoption speed across industries due to the global pandemic. 

PwC pre-pandemic forecast envisioned the XR sector to boost GDP globally by 2030 by up to $1.5 trillion. This claim still stands true. Adding to the impressive numbers, one of the major AR features is being portable and easily enabled through the personal devices. According to the ARtillry revenue forecast, there are currently almost 3 billion smartphones on the planet capable of supporting AR experiences. Thanks to hardware and 5G advancements, AR experiences become more immersive and elaborate, becoming a go-to tool to increase retention and boost customer engagement. 

So how AR disrupts the sports sector in particular? Read on to learn more.

AR in sports: theory and practice 

Within a couple of years, we saw a massive shift in the consumer and users’ perspective towards AR acceptance. These days with social media face filters and apps, this technology penetrates our daily lives and proves to have more value than the initial one-off “wow” effect. Sports fans and enthusiasts, in particular, seem to found precisely what they’ve been looking for. A technology that is easily accessible (be it their own home or stadium) sparks genuine emotion and helps to connect with their favorite teams and athletes in a new exciting way. Wikitude has been in the game for a decade, catering to the most renowned sports brands and agencies’ needs. 

From branded filters on social media to augmented sports apparel, multiplayer AR games, or 3D volumetric avatars of the favorite athlete practicing moves on your coffee table – augmented reality makes it possible.   

Campus AR by Balti Virtual

Augmented reality in sports: use cases to watch

One of the most powerful examples of using AR in sport on a large scale to date is the Wikitude-powered Globo Rio app, specially created for the Olympic Games in Rio. The app used Geo AR technology to act as an interactive Olympic Village guide. Using the augmented reality mode, visitors could quickly orient themselves among venues, discover statistics, matches, and follow live results. The app’s multifunctionality and ease of use proved essential for such a major sports event, resulting in over 100,000 installations in the first two days.

Before Rio, Wikitude has powered the official 2012 London Summer Olympics app, “Join In.” The app provided visitors to the Olympics with everything they would need to fully enjoy the games – from online scheduling to Geo AR navigation and social sharing. 

While Geo AR still stays one of the most demanded features, the industry sees the rise of other AR features, allowing high-quality 2D and 3D markerless and marker-based augmentations. 

Augmented reality is a powerful way for sports teams and their sponsors to engage with their fans wherever they are (which is unfortunately not in stadiums and arenas these days). From AR “photo ops” to mini-games, we’ve seen some of our most successful campaigns to date in the sports world.
Will Gee | CEO | Balti Virtual

Wikitude partner Balti Virtual studio specializes in ubiquitous AR sports experiences. The studio successfully uses the Wikitude SDK to augment a wide range of objects, printed materials (like “Tilt the Ice” augmented coasters created for Washington Capitals), and create stunning volumetric avatars.  

Washington Capitals Tilt the Ice by Balti Virtual

Augmented reality in sports coaching and training

AR can improve on-field decision-making and help eliminate the human factor when professionally assessing game results. The technology is capable of providing sports professionals with a better understanding of game analytics. The most common AR use case is a Hawk-eye system. Essentially a computer vision-based augmented reality solution; it is used in ball sports to help judges make fair decisions based on the real-time ball trajectory projection.

Training efficiency can also be improved with the help of augmented reality. Volumetric capture and 3D data visualization enable athletes to get a better overview of training sessions, enhancing performance and technique. Trainers tap into the AR potential to move from a paper bond field strategy to a digital one, where decisions could be made in real-time, thus drastically improving the game quality.

AR in betting, e-sport and fantasy sports

As the global pandemic completely disrupted the sports industry in 2020, the world has to get used to new social distancing rules. This, in turn, led to a significant rise of interest in the PokémonGo style outdoor AR games (think fantasy sports and scavenger hunts). Such games use geolocation to connect players in the nearest vicinity, adding virtual elements and bounties to the real world map and allows players to interact. AR sports are about to be added to the fantasy sports range, offering an inimitable monetizing opportunity yet to be capitalized. 

Another area where augmented reality creates additional value and increases engagement and retention is e-sports and sports betting. Hugely popular, these sport varieties benefit from digital overlays, visualization, and different advertising options for brands. Blockchain-based companies like Wikitude’s partner Socios use augmented reality with fan tokens to increase the members’ engagement. 

Sport AR with smart glasses

Lockdowns across the globe made people embrace technology and use it to compliment or even substitute live sports events. Within a couple of years, this steady habit of taping into AR, not just for one-off effect, but to get diverse content will be taken even further.  Wearables will play a significant role in how fans interact with sports in the future. With consumer smart glasses launching in the predictable future, sports fans can expect an increase in truly immersive experiences, that will leverage the engagement. 

Augmented reality in broadcasting

AR is truly versatile and works well live or on TV. Several TV channels are already successfully using technology to generate more traffic and enrich real-time coverage with digital content. As the sports broadcasting market is expected to reach $78.5 billion in revenue next year, advanced technologies like AR will significantly contribute to its growth.  Augmented reality turns classic broadcasting into an interactive show with embedded 3D graphics, real-time game analysis, and overlays that audiences across the globe can truly enjoy. 

Ready to create sports AR apps that can recognize, track and augment images, objects, scenes, geographical locations, and much more?

Request a free consultation to learn how our tools and AR features can help you create the solution you need to boost your sports offerings.


In focus: interview with Markus Eder

At Wikitude, we are proud to say that we have a talent to find (& keep) talent. To show you how, we are introducing our new interview series, In Focus. Each article will tell a story about a team member that makes Wikitude what the company is today. Let us introduce Markus Eder, Head of Computer Vision team, who has celebrated nine years at Wikitude.

What made you take the leap and start your AR/Computer Vision journey?

When I studied computer science for my Bachelor’s degree, many things started shifting in the industry. The first smartphones were just introduced, with their new capabilities (especially these of iPhones), allowing a whole new category of applications. 

A concept that immediately caught my attention was an app called London tube. It overlaid the location of the next tube station in London over the running camera feed. I liked the concept and its potential and started to read about the technology and theory behind it. This search first brought me to augmented reality and further on to the whole area of Computer Vision (CV). So much so that I decided to focus my Master’s on it. 

After doing a semester abroad in Australia, I looked for opportunities to get a paid Master’s thesis. Such an opportunity arose in Salzburg at a local research center. There I developed a concept for AR assisted pedestrian navigation on a mobile device. To improve the user experience, it combined Geo AR with Computer Vision algorithms. As the thesis was completed, I realized that I want to stay in this field.

At the time, the job openings in Computer Vision were scarce, but luckily I landed one directly in Salzburg – at Wikitude.

What were your initial expectations?

When I joined the company, I thought I could continue in the same area as my thesis. But soon, I realized there is a clear gap between scientific research and product development. One thing is to show a prototype proving that a particular technology works. Developing that prototype into a ready-for-market product that works under all circumstances proved to be a whole other topic.

From a research perspective, those days were really exciting. Many Computer Vision concepts and groundworks that are applied in current AR frameworks were conceived around that time. As research topics like SLAM, Structure-from-Motion, or 3D Reconstruction were evolving, it became apparent that these ideas will enable a new generation of AR capabilities (even on a mobile phone). Wikitude, Imagination and Metaio (now part of Apple) were the first movers to integrate some of these ideas into their products.

What challenges or setbacks did you face along the way?

In 2012, a few AR apps in the market used the device’s sensors (GPS, Accelerometer, Compass) solely to overlay AR content on the phone’s camera stream. Back then, the focus was to market the existing solution rather than improving technology. So the first technical challenge was shifting from sensor-based to Computer Vision-based algorithms for AR visualization. But once we did, it opened the door for an entirely new category of AR use cases which have shaped the market as we know it today.

A second challenge was playing in a highly competitive environment. Up until now, the leading AR companies are far larger. Despite that, we’ve been competitively leading the space. I believe this drives all Wikituders to compete with those companies and offer better features and quality.

How did Wikitude transition from an app to an AR SDK provider? 

When Wikitude was still a young startup, the atmosphere encouraged the exploration of new ideas. It facilitated the integration of new features into the application. Soon, it got clear that there is a massive potential in allowing other developers to integrate AR technology into their products. This shift in focus meant changes in the tech teams to optimize our resources and develop a full-merged AR SDK.

As you progressed, did any part of your journey change? How?

Initially, the focus lay mainly on the Geo AR-based Wikitude app, so I worked on the Android side. The more we realized CV and AR’s potential, the more my focus shifted in that direction. At this point, we decided to create a new team to focus on R&D in that area solely. For me, it meant that I could work on the CV-based research aspects of the SDK. At the same time, we conducted state-funded research projects with several Austrian universities, which are among the best in AR and computer vision. The research results and expanding our team with international hires have helped us a jump-start in the right direction. 

Can you share any tips on how to build a successful CV team?

With an increased demand for Computer Vision-based features in the SDK, we continued to hire more people. It was hard to find people with a computer science background in general and with a particular skill set. Quickly we realized that we have to look for potential candidates internationally as it still was a very specialized field.  

As a tight-knit collective, we can not afford to hire the wrong people. I guess I always go with my gut feeling, and time shows it has been working.

There is also an exceptional working atmosphere in Wikitude where each team member feels that they can bring something to the table, and it encourages people to do their best.

How were your expectations met along throughout your journey at Wikitude?

When I think back to where we started, the whole journey exceeded my expectations – especially considering the market changes in the last couple of years. After all these years, we are one of the leading AR technology providers in the market with a vast customer base. The profile of our customers changed drastically over the years. 

In the early stages of our SDK, customers were most interested in creating a “wow”-effect for the customer by showcasing necessary information in AR. This approach has changed – now, the customers come with business cases in mind where AR has a clear benefit for the users. Just showing something in AR is not enough. Relying heavily on constant communication with our clients, we have significantly changed our offering and the feature set we provide to the developers.

Did you achieve what you wanted to? 

After completing my studies, my goal was to deepen my knowledge and continue to work and research in that field. Since then, AR has progressed so far that it influences people’s lives and assists in daily use cases.

Until the technology hasn’t reached its full potential yet, I will not stop working in this field until it’s done.

From your perspective, how is the future of AR and Computer vision will look like?  

I believe that in the future, we’ll move away from the web-based AR experiences where users have to hold a device in their hands as it restricts the use cases and interaction. As technology evolves, we’ll see a more natural and less intrusive way to interact with augmented reality content that is comfortable and intuitive for users. 

Another aspect that will change is the level of immersion. At the moment, in most cases, users statically look at augmented experience. Along with the hardware that will handle heavy computing and advanced optics, augmented experiences will evolve and offer more advanced graphics and interaction. We can already see how devices have solved the problem of localization, next up will be detecting and recognizing the objects in user’s environment to create a context. 

As a company, we are working closely on solving these challenges to support more use cases and make the engine smarter to recognize more complex objects.

What would be your advice for professionals who want to enter and succeed in the area of Computer Vision and Augmented reality? 

Many ways could lead to this area. Having a solid background in advanced mathematics will help along the way to understand the fundamental concepts of computer vision and AR. It has become more accessible in the last couple of years, thanks to dedicated programs focused on computer vision and the progress of deep and machine learning. 

Another helpful thing is defining which specific area you’re interested in – whether it’s visualization (an essential aspect of AR) or other areas, which comprise the fundamentals of computer vision and machine learning. There is much research happening in this area, but trying your hands on the actual technology could be very useful. 

Get more insights about our team: Read the interview with Wikitude COO Nicola Radacher


How AR helps to solve the industrial workforce crisis

As the global population rapidly ages, the skill gap between generations of workers widens with an accelerated speed. Just like a pandemic, the aging workforce crisis makes an impact across industries and countries. This blog post will overview the complex challenges that the current workforce crisis brings and how technology and industrial AR can help solve them. 

Enterprises and manufacturers worldwide are about to face a strenuous challenge as a drastic amount of skilled workers will retire within the next 5 years. With industrial machines growing increasingly complex, workplaces, and teams becoming geographically dispersed, the task of closing the skill gap and passing the valuable knowledge of retirees needs to be urgently addressed. Industrial AR is here to help.

The decline of the skilled worker

Older workers represent a growing segment of the labor markets worldwide. According to Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute’s joint study, the increasing proportion of the aging specialists in the US will leave 2,4 million positions unfilled by 2028, with a potential economic impact of 2.5 trillion. Studies show that by the year 2026, working Americans aged 55+ will comprise 24,8% of the working population. Similar processes happen in other countries. There are currently 9,4 million employed people in their fifties in the UK, equivalent to over 30% of the country’s workforce. According to Eurostat data, the European Union currently faces the rapidly aging workforce fallout too.  By 2030 European population aged 20 to 64 is expected to shrink to 55,9 % and those aged 65 and over to reach up to 24 %, namely a quarter of the total population.

Read more about tech and pandemic challenges: How AR drives value in the COVID-19 world

Retaining the expert knowledge 

While a whole generation of baby boomers steadily heads to retirement, the new generations of workers are often slow to show up in time to fill in crucial positions. The reasons for such delay vary: some take more time to complete tertiary education, while others find factory floors less attractive compared to office jobs. Seeking new ways to alleviate the financial burden of sourcing and training new talents, industry leaders begin to see that upskilling existing workers might be a safe way out. 

“The transfer of know-how and experience is a complex social challenge that cannot be done within a couple of weeks. The difficulty is mainly the human component: not enough appreciation for the loyal, older specialist and an overload of work for the – often much younger – successor. Ideally, both employees follow a clear process and have a coach on their side to take off the pressure.”
Klaudia Bachinger | Founder CEO | WisR

Advanced technology may hold a key to solving this challenge. Continuing technology adoption and increased investments in technological industrial solutions such as AR have already proved to exceed the return of time and financial assets. The digital revolution that has commenced to streamline and optimize the workflows in industries such as manufacturing, field service, and production is now rolling over to the human resources area.  

For many companies, the challenge of leaving older workers on board is often directly correlated with the overall challenge of creating and maintaining a permanent talent pool with employees ready to be upskilled and trained further to adapt to emerging jobs, complex data integrations, and automation.  Pioneers in future-proofing their organizations have already realized that upskilling large numbers of employees require money, time, and serious commitment. Here the digital dexterity of organizations comes to the fore.  

Industrial AR as a connecting link

Augmented reality has recently graduated from the Gartner’s Hype Cycle, officially moving from the emerging technology to the mature technology ready to be used and safely invested. Moreover, Gartner’s latest report predicts that multi-experience platforms, including augmented reality, will be deployed at least in one-third of all enterprises by 2021. 

Augmented reality offers a wide array of solutions for the field service companies and manufacturers that allow keeping and utilizing experienced workers’ knowledge. While the AR technology might still not be widespread, digital working instructions overlay and augmented remote assistance have proven to deliver rapid value across industries.

Scalable AR experiences allow uses to collaborate easily, using the expertise on-demand where and when required. Thus, AR solutions facilitate the expertise transfer, allowing the over-the-shoulder coaching by a senior worker, saving travel and training costs. 

The pandemic has accelerated the use of smart glass technology as an effective remote contact solution, not just in providing assistance solutions but also for remote training. The aging population was a pre-pandemic issue for many of our clients, in particular the challenge of replacing and training experts when older experienced employees retire. Smart glasses like Moverio can help address the skills-gap challenge of aging populations as well as upskilling the existing workforce through more efficient and remotely supervised hands-on training techniques.
Valerie Riffaud Cangelosi | Head of New Market Development | Epson Europe

The formula for successful reskilling is to keep training concise and achievable to motivate workers and guarantee a quick return on investments. Following the same objectives, Wikitude augmented reality applications allow easy deployment while driving high ROI and generating value across the enterprise and generations. The ubiquity of AR usage can help organizations embrace their workers’ aging and prolong their careers while carefully passing the knowledge and skills to the new generation.

Find more AR use cases: AR in maintenance and remote assistance