PTC announced Monday that the Vuforia platform, widely used software for augmented reality (AR) development, will support devices based on Tango, a set of sensors from Google, for development of a new generation of interactive AR experiences.
The Vuforia augmented reality software platform enables digital content to be placed in real world environments. Vuforia, a product of PTC, includes easy-to-use workflows, SDKs, and cloud services for use with leading development tools including Unity, Xcode, Android Studio and Microsoft Visual Studio. With support for leading phones, tablets, and digital eyewear including ODG R7 and Microsoft HoloLens, Vuforia has been adopted by more than 350,000 developers globally who have published more than 40,000 AR apps. Vuforia enables a wide range of applications for consumer and enterprise use, and powers the majority of AR apps in the App Store and Google Play.
Vuforia Smart Terrain delivers a hierarchy of objects and surfaces similar to a scene graph, but designed for AR development. This environmental scene graph is created dynamically, and can include objects defined by a developer as well as objects and surfaces reconstructed from the environment. This provides greater creative freedom for developers and designers to build experiences that are triggered or controlled by specific objects, and can interact with the surrounding environment. For example, toys can now come alive and roam a child’s playroom; furniture can pop out of a catalog to redecorate any room in the house.
Vuforia Smart Terrain will initially describe the environment geometrically, but over time it is also expected to describe the environment semantically to enable further creative power for developers and designers.
The Vuforia AR platform uses advanced computer vision technology to enable digital content to be placed in real-world environments. Most AR content is currently associated with a specific object such as a toy, catalog or piece of machinery. Content is typically triggered by the object, and does not have the ability to interact with surfaces in the surrounding environment such as the floor, walls, furniture, fixtures, etc. This lack of interaction remains a barrier to a range of room-scale AR experiences.
The Vuforia Smart Terrain feature addresses this challenge by providing developers with an easy-to-use representation of the physical environment. Vuforia Smart Terrain delivers a hierarchy of objects and surfaces similar to a scene graph, but designed for AR development. This environmental scene graph is created dynamically and can include objects defined by a developer, as well as objects and surfaces reconstructed from the environment. For example, toys can now come alive and roam a child’s playroom; furniture can pop out of a catalog to redecorate any room in the house.
“We are excited for the announcement of Vuforia’s Tango support, which will allow more developers to take advantage of improved AR tracking and 3D reconstruction using Vuforia’s Smart Terrain feature,” said Eitan Marder-Eppstein, engineering manager, Google.
Originally announced in 2014, Smart Terrain was designed to make use of a new generation of depth-aware camera technologies, such as those in Tango. The Lenovo Phab 2 Pro and ASUS ZenFone AR are the first commercial smartphones with this capability and signal a new generation of devices that are expected to deliver a dramatically improved AR experience, and lead to further AR innovation and adoption.
Vuforia Smart Terrain describes the environment geometrically, but over time can describe the environment semantically to enable further creative power for developers and designers.
“Vuforia Smart Terrain will help realize the potential for devices with 3D camera technologies by making them easy to use for AR developers,” said Jay Wright, president, Vuforia. “We’re providing developers a huge leap in creative freedom, and we can’t wait to see what they do with it.”
Vuforia Smart Terrain for Tango is expected to be available for Unity later this year.