At the very core of augmented reality
based applications there is this thing called image recognition
. Basically it means that when an image is viewed through the camera of a device, this image is recognized and it's orientation and distance can be determined within application.
When we know the distance and orientation of the image against our mobile device, we can use this information to create 3D space in our application that appears to be a part of the image that is viewed with camera.
Image recognition is hard. Building algorithms that calculate the position of tracking image in real time is a task that requires an expert of the matter -or rather an army of them. Luckily for us independent game developers, there are free SDKs that everyone can utilize in their projects such as Qualcomm Vuforia
Using Vuforia with Unity
is easy. Just download the Vuforia AR Extension from Vuforia site
or directly from the Unity Asset Store. Import it into your Unity project. Create your image targets in Vuforia Developer website, download them, import them to yor project. Add AR Camera component to your scene and define Image Target objects. Remember to switch on "Activate dataset" at AR Camera GameObject and that's it!
In order to demonstrate this image recognition based augmented reality 3D space, we have prepared three videos for you. First there is the demo with Spark the Spider
And then there is Shaft the Shark demo. It jumps when being tapped!
Finally we experimented to recognize image from computer screen and it worked just as well as with the printed images. Say hello to Herman the Hellraiser!
We at the Frak are currently using this feature to construct a fighting action game for iOS and Android. In addition to AR, we have some other pretty cool features as well. Stand by for next time as we discuss QR code based optical tracking.
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