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.

Dev to Dev

“The Turtle” developer tutorial: markerless app made with Unity (SLAM)

Update: Track, save and share AR experiences with SDK 8

Since the launch of Wikitude’s SLAM technology, “The Turtle” has been the #1 tutorial request we’ve received. So who better than the developers themselves to show you how they made turtles float around the streets of Michigan?

This post is a guest post by YETi CGI, a tech design company who developed projects for companies like Disney, Mattel, National Geographic and more.

The Turtle, as we affectionately call it, is a markerless AR concept demo we built on the new Wikitude SDK as part of our own research into 3D mobile AR. In broad strokes, the app causes your phone to see a majestic sea turtle swimming about the room, getting believably close and distant depending on where it is in virtual space.

Building the AR experience

The demo’s effect hinges on the turtle itself, right? Both its look and its feel contribute to the sense of it swimming in the same room the user occupies. In order to convey this, the first step is to give the turtle some context, which is where Wikitude’s SDK comes in. The SLAM algorithm they’ve got defines the virtual space based on the physical, gathering data from the room and mapping it into a Unity scene.

Because of what Wikitude provides, our coding needs were actually pretty simple. Once the Unity scene is created the camera performs a raycast onto the ground, giving the program most of the variables it needs to run. Aided by the virtual map of the physical room and the raycast data, the prefabbed object (which is then given the turtle as its identity) is positioned at a comfortable distance directly in front of the user.

When scene is set to it’s active state, and if tracking is active, position the Turtle correctly in front of the viewer

if (_isTracking)
    //cast ray out from center of screen, get position it hits the ground plane
    Ray cameraRay = Camera.main.ScreenPointToRay(new Vector3(Screen.width / 2, Screen.height / 2, 0));
    RaycastHit hit;
    if (ground.Raycast(cameraRay, out hit, 30))
        objectHolder.transform.position = hit.point;

The turtle’s animation is mostly provided by the art team, but it only consists of a looped reel of images. The baked in animation doesn’t actually include the circles that the turtle is turning, though it’s worth noting that it could have been accomplished that way. Our approach was to use a free plugin, called DOTween, to assign the turtle an animation state. We think it worked nicely.

Did you know you can now use Unity’s live preview with the Wikitude SDK? See more

Again, Wikitude’s SDK accommodates the project beautifully: most of the code done by our team determines position and camera input. By using Unity, Wikitude was able to provide us with prefabs (pre-built assets) which allowed us to drag and drop ready-to-go elements, giving us the freedom to work on the design and UX without having to first reinvent the wheel.

The outcome

How cool is to track the world around us? We’re pleased with how it turned out, and we’re going to continue learning about the applications of markerless 3D AR. At YETi we’ve been active in the scene for some time, and to have tools like Wikitude’s SDK showing up is a huge encouragement. 

That’s it! Hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Below are some relevant links to get you started with Instant Tracking. Let us know in the comments below which tutorials we should make next.

Get started with the  SDK for Unity: 


Download Unity SDK
Set up guide
Instant Tracking info
Other apps using 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

Develop powerful AR apps with the new Wikitude SDK 8.10

The latest Wikitude AR platform release includes updated support for Epson Moverio smart glasses, new Flutter sample app, and stability improvements

The Wikitude AR platform goes through regular quality assurance tests, and maintenance and development processes to ensure you have access to the level of quality you need to create high-performing augmented reality experiences.

SDK 8.10 contains all the latest platform maintenance and stability improvements; brings our optimized Epson Moverio AR SDK up to date; and includes the new, highly requested, Flutter sample app.

Epson Moverio

SDK 8.10 support for BT-300 and BT-350 Epson Moverio smart glasses

Starting off with the development that many of you have been waiting for: updated Epson Moverio Wikitude AR SDK.

The Epson Moverio devices are used by enterprises and consumers worldwide to deliver hands-free augmented reality experiences. Wikitude SDK 8.10 offers a fully optimized AR SDK for Moverio BT-300 and BT-350 smart glasses.

The Wikitude AR platform is adapted to make the best out of the unique features of both devices, ensuring optimal performance in a variety of environments and use cases. Among these customizations are:

  • Intel SSE optimization: providing best processing power and performance for both devices;
  • Optimization for stereoscopic view: enabling full 3D see-through (side-by-side view) support of Moverio smart glasses;
  • Personal calibration: enabling perfect alignment between the real world and AR content.

Watch the video to view an Epson Moverio hands-free supported remote assistance use case combined with Wikitude Object Recognition and Tracking technology:

Access the link below to give the Epson Moverio AR SDK a try (download redirects to the signup page for a free trial). Subscription license users are entitled to this free update.  


Sample app for Flutter. Another request from our awesome AR community

Wikitude was the very first AR platform to offer official support for Flutter. For those of you who are unfamiliar with it, Flutter is an open-source mobile application UI development framework toolkit created by Google. It is used to develop natively-compiled applications for iOS and Android from a single codebase.

The Wikitude documentation, with SDK 8.10, introduces a new Flutter sample app to help you add augmented reality technology to your projects.

The Flutter Plugin is based on our JavaScript API and includes the Wikitude AR library/framework, sample app, and documentation.

AR SDK Performance and Stability Enhancements

The Wikitude SDK is regularly inspected by our quality assurance team and optimized by our technical team so you can have access to high-performing tools that are always up to date.

As updates are frequent – and ideal for app maintenance and device compatibility reasons, we recommend choosing our subscription license, which includes one year of SDK update releases. 

Download Wikitude SDK 8.10

Active Wikitude SDK subscribers are entitled to all SDK version updates released throughout their term. Follow the links below to update your SDK:

New to Wikitude? Download a free Wikitude SDK 8.10 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.

SDK releases

Wikitude SDK 8.7: new UWP feature, Extended Image Tracking range, and AR platform improvements

Wikitude SDK 8.7 is out! This update adds some pretty impressive performance enhancements and a few new features you can’t miss

Every 6 weeks Wikitude runs an effective AR SDK maintenance and quality assurance program to ensure our developers always have access to a high-performing AR platform. Here’s what’s new for our latest:

  • Increased Image Tracking detection range (+50%)
  • Faster camera frame processing and stability enhancements
  • Preparation to support Apple’s iOS 13 
  • External camera support for Windows in Unity Editor

Faster camera frame processing and increased image tracking detection range (+50%)

The Wikitude AR technology development teams work closely together with our quality assurance unit to programmatically test, tweak, and optimize our AR platform. With every update, our customers can expect high performance and general enhancements.

SDK 8.7 improves the detection range of image targets across devices by 50%. A4-sized image targets can reach impressive recognition distances in the area of 4.7 meters (15.42 feet).

Additionally, internal changes in the processing pipeline of Wikitude SDK 8.7 resulted in faster camera frame access for all related components and includes a series of additional fixes and stability improvements. Please review the release notes for your platform for an in-depth report.

iOS 13 Preparations

At the Worldwide Developers Conference held in June, Apple announced its new iOS 13 mobile operating system. Even though iOS 13 is scheduled to be officially released in the fall of 2019, Wikitude has already started optimizing its AR SDK.

People occlusion, motion capture, and collaborative sessions are some of the much-awaited ARKit 3 features which you will be able to enjoy. Stay tuned to future Wikitude updates to get the latest and greatest AR for Apple’s iOS 13!

External camera support for Windows in Unity Editor 

Designed to facilitate UWP app development in Unity, this new feature allows developers to plug-in an external web camera into any UWP-based tablet and use its camera stream in the Wikitude SDK. 

The additional camera view helps developers to have a realistic idea of how the AR project is progressing from another perspective in Unity, hassle-free.

Get started with SDK 8.7 for your preferred development platform:

Download Wikitude SDK 8.7

Active Wikitude SDK subscribers are entitled to all SDK version updates released throughout their term. Follow the links below to update your AR SDK:

New to Wikitude? Download a free Wikitude SDK 8.7 trial version for testing purposes or 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.

Dev to Dev

A beginner’s guide to augmented reality with Unity

The Wikitude Academy has been successfully supporting students, professors, and academic institutions since 2012. In short, this awesome initiative has been giving free access to the full feature set of the Wikitude SDK EDU to eligible applicants all around the globe.

Due to the success of the program and popular demand, the Wikitude Academy has now partnered up with award-winning international professor & best-selling author Dr. Penny de Byl to offer online augmented reality courses.

If you are a mobile app creator, game designers/developer, or an AR/Unity enthusiast looking to expand your skill set, this course is for you. Presenting:

A Beginner’s Guide to Augmented Reality with Unity  featuring Mobile AR Applications with Wikitude using ARKit & ARCore for iOS and Android.

Hosted on the online learning platform Udemy and designed for AR beginners, the course ranges from examining AR’s earliest origins to understanding the mashup of computerized environments with the real world. The topics covered in the course include:

  • Projecting Virtual Objects over the live camera feed
  • 2D Image Recognition
  • 3D Object and Scene Recognition
  • 3D Scene Recognition
  • QR and Barcode Detection
  • Image Tracking, and
  • Placing virtual interactable objects and animations into a real scene

Like what you see? Then we suggest you act fast.

With a small investment, enrolled students have full lifetime access to 53 lectures, 10.5 hours of on-demand video, 6 articles, 28 downloadable resources, certificate of completion, and more:

  • All students enrolled in this course are entitled to a free Wikitude SDK EDU license.

Enroll now and learn how to create your own AR app from scratch with Unity and Wikitude.

“Dr. Penny introduces augmented reality techniques using her internationally acclaimed holistic teaching style and expertise from over 25 years of teaching, research, and work in games and computer graphics. Throughout the course, you will follow along with hands-on workshops designed to teach you the fundamental techniques used for designing and developing augmented reality mobile applications.”

To read the full description of the course and sign up, please access A Beginner’s Guide to Augmented Reality with Unity.

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

AR features

Get SMART – Seamless AR Tracking with ARCore and ARKit

Simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) was one of the most impactful technologies in recent years. It opened a wider spectrum of augmented reality experiences going beyond image & object targets by instantly tracking real-world scenes and placing digital layers in everyday environments.

With the release of Wikitude’s markerless AR feature, followed by Apple’s ARKit and Google’s ARCore, lots of new eyes turned to augmented reality. The impressive markerless apps developed in the past year spoke for themselves: SLAM is here to stay.

Now that the dust has settled, an inconvenient truth arises: dealing with different SDKs and APIs for different platforms is cumbersome, time-consuming and not cost-efficient.

Determined to solve developers’ hardship of dealing with multiple APIs, our team created SMART – Wikitude’s ‘Seamless AR Tracking’ Feature for the Wikitude SDK.

Track, save and share: download the new Wikitude SDK 8.

SMART – Wikitude’s ‘Seamless AR Tracking’

SMART is a seamless API which integrates ARKit and ARCore on top of Wikitude’s SLAM engine in a single augmented reality SDK, cross-platform, for any device. This new SDK feature does more than a simple fusion of augmented reality platforms: it wraps them all on Wikitude’s intuitive API. This means developers won’t have to bother dealing with specific ARKit/ARCore code. The Wikitude SDK will dynamically identify the end user’s device and decide if ARKit, ARCore or Wikitude’s SLAM should be used for each particular case.

The SMART feature is part of SDK 7.2 (and latest versions) and makes ARKit and ARCore accessible to developers working with JavaScript, Unity, Xamarin, Titanium, PhoneGap, and Cordova. If you are just getting started with your AR development journey, don’t miss our blog post covering all the development tools and extensions supported by Wikitude.

A free trial the SMART is now available for download.

Expanded Device Compatibility

ARKit and ARCore surely contribute to making AR more readily available for developers, but up to now, both SDKs have restricted device compatibility.

SMART ensures the delivery of the best possible augmented reality experience on a wider range of devices, covering 92,6% of iOS devices and about 95% of all suitable Android devices available in the market. This makes Wikitude the first toolkit in the market to truly democratize markerless AR for developers.

No matter if you are tracking horizontal or vertical planes, SMART is able to place 3D objects, videos, buttons, widgets and more using Wikitude’s SLAM engine.

For those interested in a wider variety of augmented reality experiences, check out our SDK’s geo-location, image recognition and tracking, multi-target recognition, object recognition and more with ample device coverage (smartphones, smart glasses, and tablets) and multiple platform deployment (iOS, Android).

Are you ready to get SMART?

  • Download the SDK of your choice
  • Read all about SMART (part of Wikitude’s Instant Tracking feature)
  • Get the setup guide
  • Use Wikitude’s sample app to try your project

We can’t wait to hear your feedback! Please let us know via Twitter, Facebook and in the comments below how you like SMART. Share the good news using #SMART & #wikitude.

SDK releases

Wikitude SDK 6: See beyond reality with SLAM

Update (August 2017): Object recognition, multi-target tracking and SLAM: Track the world with SDK 7

Introducing SDK 6, Wikitude’s powerful SLAM solution for Augmented Reality apps

We are excited to announce the latest version of our augmented reality SDK, powered by the all-new Wikitude 3D SLAM engine.

SDK 6 combines top-notch image recognition and tracking, improved geo-location AR, and new 3D tracking technology (SLAM-based), becoming the world’s most comprehensive augmented reality SDK for mobile, tablets, and smart-glasses. 

With this release, Wikitude empowers the 400,000+ AR developers worldwide to transform their cross-platform apps into full-stack augmented reality experiences. Here is an overview of the new features: 

Wikitude 3D tracking technology – Go markerless with Instant Tracking

Ditch the markers! With SDK 6, Wikitude introduces its SLAM-based 3D engine to the world. Our all-in-one solution is robust, accurate and 100% in-house developed.

Instant Tracking is the first feature using Wikitude’s 3D tracking technology. It allows developers to easily map environments and display augmented reality content without the need for target images (markers). This feature works in both indoor and outdoor environments, and is suitable for a wide range of industries including medical, architecture, gaming, industrial machinery, real estate, marketing, and more.

For details on how to get started with Instant Tracking, visit our documentation, try our sample app (included in the download package) and watch the instruction video to learn how to track the environment. SDK 6 markerless augmented reality feature is available for Unity, JavaScript, Native, extensions and Smart-glasses (Epson and ODG).

Gestures – Play with augmentations like never before

The new “gestures” feature allows developers to freely place and interact with multiple augmentations on both marker-based or markerless AR experiences. Unlike other SDKs, Wikitude now enables full control of AR content with support for multi-touch gestures: drag, rotate, zoom, pan, make augmentations bigger or smaller, etc. This feature was designed with the end-user in mind, making AR experiences more dynamic, intuitive and fun.

Robust AR everywhere – track targets in rough conditions

Low light condition, shadows, noisy backgrounds, shiny surfaces… SDK 6’s new computer vision engine is prepared to deliver AR in any environment. This means increased performance, unprecedented accuracy (92% recognition rate) and faster recognition speed for target collections.

Developers can also benefit from a new file format optimized for best performance in rough conditions. For more information on the new file format and compatibilities, please see our documentation.

Additional features

Improved Extended Tracking – first introduced in SDK 5, Extended Tracking allows developers to extend experiences beyond targets. Once the target image is recognized, users can continue the AR experience by freely moving their devices without needing to keep a marker in the camera view. Extended Tracking now shares the same SLAM algorithm as Wikitude’s Instant Tracking feature, providing more robust performance.

Advanced camera options – AR has never looked so realistic as with this sharp new feature. Enjoy high definition camera rendering on new devices and 60 fps for smoother AR experiences. SDK 6 comes with two camera setting options that gives developers full control of their AR experiences. Choose between auto mode or select your preferred rendering quality from standard definition SD to full high definition (FullHD). Moreover, developers now have extended control over focus behaviour of the camera.

Positioning – Let your augmentations fly. The Positioning feature enables free positioning of augmentations on targets in any dimension. Content associated with a geo-location can now also be freely positioned in any direction.

Start developing with Wikitude SDK 6 across platforms

Getting started with Wikitude’s new SLAM-based SDK is super easy! Here’s how

  1. Download SDK and sample app 
  2. Check out our documentation
  3. Select your license plan
  4. Got questions? Our developers are here for you! 

If you’re already working with Wikitude, check out our new and simpler pricing plan. We can’t wait to see your projects using SDK 6! 

Help us spread the news on Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin using the hashtag #SDK6 and #Wikitude.

SDK releases

Wikitude SDK 6 – A technical insight

Update (August 2017): Object recognition, multi-target tracking and SLAM: Track the world with SDK 7

In this blog post, Wikitude CTO Philipp Nagele shares some insights into the technical background of SDK 6 and the changes that go along with the new version of Wikitude’s augmented reality SDK.

The planning and work for SDK 6 reach far back into 2015. While working on the previous release 5.3 to add support for Android 7.0 and iOS 10, we already had a clear plan on what the next major release of our SDK should include. It is very gratifying that we now can lift the curtain on the scope and details of what we think is the most comprehensive release in the history of Wikitude’s augmented reality SDK.

While Instant Tracking is without doubt the highlight feature of this release, there are many more changes included, that are worth mentioning. In this blog post, I’ll try to summarize the noteworthy changes and some additional information and insights.

Pushing the boundaries of image recognition

Most of our customers choose the Wikitude SDK for the ability to recognize and track images for various purposes. The engine that powers it has been refined over the years, and, already with SDK 5, reached a level of performance (both in speed and reliability) that puts it at the top of augmented reality SDKs today.
With Wikitude SDK 6, our computer vision engine took another major step forward. In more detail, the .wtc file format now uses a different approach in generating search indexes, which improves the recognition rate. Measured on the MVS Stanford data set, SDK 5 delivered a recognition rate of around 86%, while SDK 6 now recognizes 94 out of 100 images correctly. Moreover, the recognition rate stays above 90% independent of the size of the .wtc file. So, no matter whether your .wtc file includes 50 or 1000 images, users will successfully recognize your target images.

Another development we have been working lately is to embrace the power of genetic algorithms to optimize the computer vision algorithms. Several thousands of experiments and hours on our servers led to an optimized configuration of our algorithms. The result is a 2D image tracking engine that tracks targets in many more sceneries and different light conditions. You can get a first impression on the increased robustness in this direct comparison between the 2D engine in SDK 5 and SDK 6. The footage is unedited and shows a setup with several challenging factors:

  • Low-light condition (single spot light source)
  • Several occluding objects
  • Strong shadows further occluding the images
  • Busy scenery in general
  • Reflections and refractions

The improvements in SDK 6 make the 2D engine more robust while keeping the same performance in terms of battery consumption and speed.

Instant Tracking – SLAM in practice

You might have seen our previous announcements and advancements in not only recognizing and tracking two-dimensional images, but instead, working with entire maps of three-dimensional scenes. It is no secret that Wikitude has been working on several initiatives in the area of 3D tracking.

For the first time, Wikitude SDK 6 includes a feature for general availability that is based on a 3D computer vision engine that has been developed in-house for the past 2 years. Instant Tracking is based on a SLAM approach to track the surrounding of the device and localize the device. In contrast to image recognition, Instant Tracking does not recognize previously recorded items, but instantaneously tracks the user’s surroundings. While the user keeps moving, the engine extends the recorded map of the scenery. If the tracking is lost, the engine immediately tries to re-localize and start tracking again, with no need for user input.
Instant Tracking is true markerless tracking. No reference image or marker is needed. The initialization phase is instant and does not require a special initialization movement or pattern (e.g. translation movement with PTAM).

The same engine used for Instant Tracking is used in the background for Extended Tracking. Extended Tracking uses an image from the 2D computer vision engine as an initialization starting point instead of an arbitrary surface as in the case of Instant Tracking. After a 2D image has been recognized, the 3D computer vision engines starts recording the environment and stays in tracking mode even when the user is no longer viewing the image.

For details on how to get started with Instant Tracking, visit our documentation, see our sample app (included in the download package) and watch the instruction video to learn how to track the environment. SDK 6 markerless augmented reality feature is available for Unity, JavaScript, Native, extensions and Smart-glasses (Epson and ODG).

Putting the Pieces Together – Wikitude SDK and API

What is the strength of the Wikitude SDK? It is much more than a collection of computer vision algorithms. When planning a new release, the product and engineering team aim to create a cross-platform SDK that is highly usable. We try to think of use-cases for our technology, then identify missing features. So it should come as no surprise that Wikitude SDK 6 is packed with changes and new features beyond the computer vision features.

The most obvious and noticeable change, especially for your users, is FullHD rendering of the camera image. Previously, Wikitude rendered the camera stream in Standard Definition (SD) quality, which was perfect back in 2012 when the Wikitude SDK hit the market. Since then, device manufacturers have introduced Retina displays and pixel-per-inch densities beyond the distinguishable. An image rendered in VGA resolution on this kind of display just doesn’t look right anymore. In Wikitude SDK 6, developers can now choose between SD, HD or FullHD rendering of the camera stream..

Additionally, on some devices, users can now enjoy a smoother rendering experience, as the rendering frequency can be increased to 60fps. For Android, these improvements are based on new support of the Android Camera 2 API, which, since Android 5.0, is the successor to the previous API (technically more than 60% of Android devices as of 1/1/2017 should run the Camera2 API). It allows fine-grained control and access to the camera and its capabilities. While the API and the idea behind it are a welcome improvement, the implementations of the Camera 2 API throughout the various Android vendors are diverse. Different implementations of an API are never a good thing, so support for the new camera features are limited to participating Android devices.

“Positioning” was another feature needed to allow users to interact with augmentations. This feature is ideal for placing virtual objects in unknown environments. With Wikitude SDK 6, developers now have a consistent way to react to and work with multi-touch gestures. Dragging, panning, rotating – the most commonly used gestures on touch devices are now captured by the SDK and exposed in easy-to-understand callbacks. This feature has been implemented in a way that you can use it in combination with any drawable in any of the different modes of the Wikitude SDK – be it Geo AR, Image Recognition, or Instant Tracking

The new tracking technology (Instant Tracking) lead us to another change which developers will encounter quite quickly when using SDK 6. Our previously used scheme of ClientTracker and CloudTracker didn’t fit anymore for an SDK with a growing number of tracker types. SDK 6 now carries a different tracking scheme with more intuitive naming. For now, you will encounter ImageTracker with various resources (local or cloud-based) and InstantTracker, with more tracker types coming soon. We are introducing this change now in SDK 6, while keeping it fully backward compatible with the SDK 5 API, while also deprecating parts of the SDK 5 API. The SDK comes with an extensive migration guide for all platforms, detailing the changes.

Last, I don’t want to miss the opportunity to talk about two minor changes that I think can have great impact on several augmented reality experiences. Both are related to visualizing drawables. The first change affects the way 2D drawables are rendered when they are attached to geo-locations. So far, 2D drawables have always been aligned to the user when attached to a geo-location. Now, developers have the ability to align drawables as they wish(e.g. North), and drawables will stay like that. The second change also affects 2D drawables. The new SDK 6 API unifies how 2D and 3D drawables can be positioned, which adds the ability to position 2D drawables along the z-axis.

Naturally, all of our official extensions are compatible with the newest features. The Titanium (Titanium 6.0) and Unity (Unity3D 5.5) extensions now support the latest releases of their development environments, and x86 builds are now available in Unity.

The release comes with cross-platform samples (e.g. gestures are demonstrated in a SnapChat-like photo-booth experience) and documentation for each of the new features, so you can immediately work with the new release.

Start developing with Wikitude SDK 6

Getting started with Wikitude’s new SLAM-based SDK is super easy! Here’s how:

  1. Download SDK 6 and sample app
  2. Check out our documentation
  3. Select your license plan
  4. Got questions? Our developers are here for you! 

We are excited to see what you will build with our new SDK. Let us know what is your favorite feature via Twitter and Facebook using the hashtag #SDK6 and #Wikitude !


Augmented World Expo 2016 was the biggest and best AR event ever – and here’s why

Couldn’t make it to Santa Clara for AWE 2016? Take five minutes to find out what you missed.

The biggest Augmented Reality event in the world has come and gone for 2016 – and there’s a whole lot to talk about for anyone interested in seeing the future. Wikitude was onsite to demonstrate its latest technology advancements– and of course, see what everyone else in the AR/VR/wearable industry was up to.

Show me the money

The first thing you noticed? Money. Not literally – but lurking quietly below the surface. Booths were bigger, presentations were slicker, and everything and everyone was more professional. It’s a sign that people in the know are putting investments on the line – with full expectations of real returns. We’ve had our first glimpses of the future – and it’s one full of possibilities for the AR world. Of course, that was also reflected in another metric – people. Says Wikitude’s Phillipp Nagele: “There was just so much more happening this year! I think the show must have doubled in size since last year.”

Interactivity is evolving

The layman thinks of AR as a new way to consume content or information about the world – but what some of the visionaries in the field are most excited about it how it will change the ways we interface with computers. The computer has always required a tactile interaction. Keyboards and mice have evolved to touch screens, but what’s next? The answer: nothing. Augmented reality devices will let our fingers, hands and eyes interact with digital images in ways never seen before. Check out ODG’s R-7 smartglasses – for which we’ve designed an optimized version of the Wikitude SDK. It will help you make sure AR scenarios now work flawlessly on the ODG hardware. Read the official ODG / Wikitude partnership announcement.

We made a scene at the Auggies

The Oscars to the film industry is what the Auggies are to the AR industry. Not only was Wikitude a finalist in the Best AR Tool category, WIkitude also stole the show by augmenting the Auggie this year – yep, we augmented the Auggie. After all, it makes sense, right? Watch Ori Inbar, Founder and CEO of Augmented World Expo live on stage during the keynote and Auggie Awards ceremony.

See what we had to show off

For the people that work behind the scene on AR apps, Wikitude had plenty to offer from CTO Philipp Nagele – most importantly, technical insight and an in-depth tutorial on our SDK, plus an exploration of the various complimentary and powerful tools WIkitude offers including Studio, Cloud Recognition and the plugins API, which let’s the Wikitude SDK work with other libraries to create powerful, custom-built apps with features like QR and barcode recognition as well as OCR.

CEO Martin Herdina discussed one of the most important issues for everyone in the AR space: 3D recognition and tracking of objects, rooms, spaces, and structures. With the discipline still very much in its infancy, Herdina offered rare bits of real-word experience on best practices with devices already in the market.

And, in the parlance of the film industry – that’s a wrap. AWE 2016 was an incredible event highly indicative of an incredible future. What will be talking about next year? Whatever it is, it’s surely going to be even more exciting. See you in the new future!

Dev to Dev

Using Unity to boost your AR apps

There’s a reason mobile developers love to integrate Unity in their apps: it’s portable, agile and in some cases, it’s free.

While known mostly as a gaming engine, Unity is also frequently employed by anyone looking to model a virtual and now augmented three-dimensional space. The finer visual details, like texture or reflection mapping on 3D virtual objects, make Unity-based apps some of the most immersive experiences available.

For the millions of developers using Unity, Wikitude’s Unity plugin is exciting – because it allows them to combine detailed, textured virtual worlds with real ones. The plugin integrates Wikitude’s computer vision engine into anything you build with Unity, which allows you to augment interactive 3D content in real time on your mobile device.

Unity is all about supporting the growing Virtual and Augmented Reality markets! The company has invested in a number of specific features out of the box, such as head tracking and an appropriate field of view, to ease the development of VR/AR apps. 


“With the increasing demand for augmented reality technology among our Unity app developer community, we are excited to see Wikitude offering a free plugin to connect our technology platforms.” 

JC Cimetiere, Sr. Director Product Marketing of Unity.

If you want to see the Wikitude SDK + Unity plugin in action, you’ve got the perfect chance to do so at the Vision VR/AR Summit in Los Angeles next week, 10-11 February. Wikitude CMO Andy Gstoll will be on hand to check out the keynote presentation from Alex McDowell, designer, storyteller, and creative director behind Unity’s new 5D Global Studio.

Download Unity SDK

So what can you build with Wikitude and Unity? Find out by downloading the Wikitude SDK and free Unity plugin – both free as trial. The possibilities are endless and we can’t wait to see your apps!