AR tools for programmers

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When you try yourself as an augmented reality developer, choosing the right software development kit (SDK) is crucial. From a great variety of platforms for creating augmented reality, we have chosen three most highly recommended – Vuforia, Kudan AR, and Wikitude. Let’s explore their capabilities.


Vuforia is one of the most famous SDKs of today for AR development. So far it has powered 35000 apps.

  • Supports platforms: Android, UWP, Unity Editor and iOS.
  • Pricing: Free and commercial licences. The free version has limitations in cloud recognition and puts vuforia watermark on the end product.
  • Programming languages: Provides API in C++, Java, Objective-C++ and .Net through an extension to the Unity game engine.
  • Features available:
    • real object, text, environments and image recognition
    • target tracking
    • mapping additional items with OpenGL
    • scanning objects for recognition
    • virtual buttons
  • Capabilities: Includes support of virtual reality devices and a test app with comments showing Vuforia capabilities.
  • Limitations: Lacks a complete framework manual. Instructions and short tips are given randomly, but they can’t replace the required documentation.
  • Use cases: Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 Augmented Reality is an AR app that showcases the engine and its features in four augmented reality scenes. This is an example of a successful AR-aided product promotion. The app lets customers explore this new engine at a distance, as if they were actually nearby.

Kudan AR

Kudan AR is another popular SDK for augmented reality.

  • Supports platforms: Android, iOS, Unity.
  • Pricing: Free and commercial licences.
  • Programming languages: C and C++.
  • Features available:
    • image recognition
    • mapping additional elements on the base of user location and recognized images
    • markerless tracking (instead of fiducial markers, it relies on the use of natural features like edges, corners, or textures)
    • mapping additional elements via separate component over OpenGL
  • Capabilities: Due to the unlimited number of recognizing images, it requires less storage space in a device.
  • Limitations:
    • insufficient development documentation
    • no direct access to OpenGL
  • Use cases: A retail AR app Sayduck allows users to see how the furniture they want to buy will look at their homes. The app visualizes a chosen item of furniture in 3D and places the furniture wherever you want in a user’s interior.


One more augmented reality SDK on our list is Wikitude.

  • Supports platforms: Android, iOS, Smart Glasses, Epson moverio, Vuzix M-100, ODG R-7, PhoneGap, Titanium, Xamarin and Unity.
  • Pricing: Free and commercial licences.
  • Programming languages: Java and C++.
  • Features available:
    • 3D tracking technology (SLAM)
    • image recognition and tracking
    • geo-location AR for apps
    • improved extended tracking (Wikitude SDK 6)
    • advanced camera options (Wikitude SDK 6)
    • positioning (Wikitude SDK 6)
  • Capabilities: Free version is fully powered.
  • Limitations: Free version comes with a watermark.
  • Use cases: An example of a Wikitude-based app is a display mounted inside Rinspeed’s concept car. The concept of this app is quite interesting. A camera scans people walking past the car and the display shows what they are wearing and where they bought it from. This is how AR brings e-commerce to the next level.

Text above is written by Julia Matyunina and Olga Yatskevich at

Click and find more information there

General comparison of all AR platforms and reviews can be found HERE


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