What was once simply considered wild imagination is now a possible reality thanks to Augmented Reality. AR is basically a complex computer-produced vision that augments real environments in captivating ways. It’s redefined software and app user experience today. AR software development is a booming industry as we speak. It isn’t easy to master the technology however.

Businesses that realized the potential of AR in enticing their customer base have started investing in AR-powered apps, and developers are looking for the best approaches to mastering the technology. This is where open source comes in.

The gaining momentum of AR led developers to seek out open source technologies that could help them effectively leverage the technology to build AR apps. That said, here are the 4 most popular open source AR software development kits that have impressed AR app enthusiasts across the globe.
 

Google’s ARCore

 
Right at the forefront is Google’s ARCore. Launched in 2018, the SDK is open source under Apache 2.0 license and is designed to bring sensational AR experiences to Android devices.

ARCore enables developers to build AR apps that utilize the features of the mobile device to sense and augment real world environments transforming them into interactive, creative AR scenes that serve multiple purposes. The popular platform also features a multitude of APIs. Some of these APIs are available on iOS as well supporting shared AR experiences. The three most important capabilities of the ARCore are motion tracking, light estimation, and environmental understanding.
 

DroidAR

 
DroidAR was initially developed in 2010, and is known as the only open source AR exclusive to Android. The SDK supports image tracking, location-based and marker-based AR app development. However, it lacks a Unity plugin. DroidAR is a simple SDK licensed under GPLv3 – an ideal option for those looking for a free kit to deliver top notch location-based and marker-based AR experiences.
 

AR.js

 
Licensed under MIT, AR.js is a JavaScript-powered SDK that enables developers to incorporate AR experiences to web browsers without installing an app for it. What makes AR.js unique is the fact that it runs very fast – fast enough to hit 60 fps on older smartphone models. AR.js can be used on all popular mobile platforms such as Windows, Android, and iOS.
 

ARToolKit

 
ARToolKit stands next to Google ARCore as one of the most widely used AR open source technologies. With this SDK, developers can overlay virtual imagery on real environments while delivering a fast and intuitive user experience. ARToolKit is also cross-platform i.e. you can use it on Linux, Android, iOS, and Windows.

Its primary capabilities include tracking the user’s viewpoint and physical position to draw the imagery, tracking of planar images, Unity plugins support, and camera orientation tracking support.
 

Conclusion

 
As Augmented Reality expands its boundaries and crosses over to various industries including healthcare and fashion, the open source SDKs mentioned in this blog could be the game changer for developers who wish to utilize AR in the most effective manner.

Share your thoughts below on AR and AR app development.

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Written by: Ajeesh Azhakesan