Qualcomm Vuforia SDK 2.0 Augmented Reality Development Kit Leverages the Cloud

Qualcomm has just announced their new Vuforia SDK 2.0 for Android and iOS to enable developers to create augmented reality applications for those platforms.

Key new features include:

  • Cloud Recognition Service – Up to now developers were limited to about 100 images on the target device due to limited storage space, but thanks to the Cloud recognition service, apps can “see” more than 1 million images, creating new mobile augmented reality (AR) opportunities for retailers and publishers. For example, every product (or image) in a store can bring associated content from the retailer’s website and render it directly on top of the product (or image). Watch American Apparel AR app video demo for an example of such app. The Cloud Recognition service requires a Vuforia Web Services account which is free for developers (Limited to 1,000 images, 3000 events per months), but is subject to fees for businesses.
  • User-Defined Targets – Augmented reality apps usually require a known target image to be recognized before rendering the virtual content. Vuforia SDK 2.0 allows users to select their own targets such as books, magazines and photos, and do not need to carry the target previously required for the game.
  • Support for Play Mode for Unity – Improves development time by allowing you to test and debug in real time. No more sideload-run-debug-repeat between your PC and your test device. This is made possible thanks to webcam APIs that can activate your PC’s camera or USB webcam from inside the Unity Editor and let it see the real-world image you’re building on. That way you don’t need to constantly the target device for debugging and testing your app.

You can watch a short demo of those 3 features in the promo video below.

Another noticeable improvement is support for the front camera on mobile devices.

Qualcomm has also launched a new Vuforia Developer Portal, with improved navigation and additional resources such as sample apps, more documentation and tutorials. Vuforia SDK 2.0 can be freely downloaded for Windows, Linux and MacOS.

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