Augmented Reality & Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality:  is the term used to describe a three dimensional computer generated environment, which can be explored and interacted by a person.

Augmented Reality: is where we overlay the real world with virtual 3D graphical digital objects and interfaces. (It’s augmenting the real world)

5 Top Augmented Reality Tools for App Development

1. Vuforia

Vuforia AR SDK

Vuforia is an augmented reality SDK that sits near the top of most “Top AR” lists, and with good reason. Vuforia offers a range of products for developing AR experiences, including Vuforia Engine, Studio, and Chalk. The software supports the creation of both marker-based and markerless AR and has several key features that make it one of the best for object recognition and 3D modeling. These features include Ground Plane (for adding content to horizontal surfaces), Visual Camera (expands supported visual sources beyond mobile phones and tablets), and VuMarks (custom markers that can be used in Vuforia face recognition and also encode data).

2. Wikitude

Vikitude AR SDK

Wikitude is another great choice for AR software development. It is a relative newcomer to the market, with the company being founded in 2008, but has already earned a solid reputation. In fact, the debate of Vuforia vs Wikitude has become quite active recently. Wikitude is suitable for developing AR apps for iOS, Android, and Smart Glasses devices. Like most top AR development programs, Wikitude supports a variety of tracking methods and technologies, but also incorporates geolocation, cloud recognition, and distance-based scaling features.

3. ARKit


ARKit is the go-to application for the development of AR software developed by Apple, so it is not possible to use ARKit on android phones. The software relies on camera sensor data and additional data (e.g. from a gyroscope and accelerometer) to detect and analyze users’ surroundings for AR visualization. ARKit also supports fast motion tracking, face tracking, Quick Look (displaying models and scenes that can be moved and scaled easily), and various rendering effects. Apple has worked hard to keep AR easy and understandable for developers, releasing ARKit tutorial materials and updates (ARKit 1.5 , ARKit 2 , ARKit 3) with every new version of iOS.

4. ARCore


ARCore is in many ways an analog of ARKit – another application developed by the creators of a platform for devices using this platform. In this case, the company is Google, and the platform is Android. ARCore comes with the standard bundle of AR features (motion tracking, surface detection, light estimation), as well as several advanced features, such as augmented images (custom responses to specific types of 2D shapes and objects) and multiplayer (rendering of the same 3D objects on different devices simultaneously. It is also worth mentioning that ARCore is compatible with Vuforia, which allows users to make the best of functionality offered by the 2 types of software at once. Additionally, an ARCore Unity pairing is often applied to create efficient Android apps. Google has certain restrictions on which devices can run apps built on the software, and you can check whether a phone/tablet is compatible by looking at the list of ARCore Supported Devices on the Google website.

5. ARToolKit


ARToolKit is an open-source and free-to-use SDK available for AR development for devices on different platforms. Apart from Android and iOS, ARToolKit is used for AR apps on Windows, Linux, and OS X. Initially released in 1999, ARToolKit has undergone various updates. Some of the features included in the latest build are tracking of planar images and simple black squares, natural feature marker generation, real-time speed support, and easy camera calibration. ARToolKit also comes with several optional plugins for development with Unity and OpenSceneGraph.

10 Great Tools for VR Development

1. Unity

Unity is famous for game development, however, it helps you to build VR solutions for many other sectors too. E.g., you can create VR solutions for automotive, transportation, manufacturing, media & entertainment, engineering, construction, etc. with Unity.

2. Amazon Sumerian

Amazon Sumerian is the VR engine from AWS, and you don’t need 3D graphics or VR programming skills to use it. Sumerian works with all popular VR platforms like Oculus Go, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, HTC Vive Pro, Google Daydream, and Lenovo Mirage, moreover, it works with Android and iOS mobile devices too.

Amazon Sumerian supports various VR use cases like employee education, training simulation, field services productivity, retail & sales, and virtual concierge.

3. Google VR for everyone

Google, the technology giant offers a wide range of VR development tools, and you can use them to create immersive VR experience for your stakeholders. You can access these tools on the Google VR developer portal.

You can use these tools to develop VR apps for multiple platforms, e.g., Unity, Unreal, Android, iOS, and web. To access the guides to develop VR apps for each of these platforms, first navigate to “Choose your development environment” on the Google VR developer portal.

4. Unreal Engine 4 (UE4)

Unreal Engine 4 (UE4) offers a powerful set of VR development tools. With UE4, you can build VR apps that will work on a variety of VR platforms, e.g., Oculus, Sony, Samsung Gear VR, Android, iOS, Google VR, etc.


Well-known to 3D game developers, CRYENGINE is a robust choice for a VR software development tool. You can build virtual reality apps with it that will work with popular VR platforms like Oculus Rift, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, etc.

6. Blender

Blender is an open-source 3D creation suite, and it’s free. At the time of writing, Blender 2.80 is its latest release. The Blender Foundation, an independent organization for public benefit governs the development of Blender.

7. 3ds Max

3ds Max is a popular 3D modeling and rendering software from Autodesk, and you can use it for design visualization, creation of video games, etc. 

8. SketchUp Studio

SketchUp Studio is a powerful 3D modeling tool focused on the construction industry and architecture, and you can use it for virtual reality app development. It’s useful for use cases like architecture, commercial interior design, landscape architecture, residential construction, 3D printing, and urban planning.

9. Maya

Maya is yet VR software development tool from Autodesk. With Maya, you can create 3D animations, motion graphics, and VFX software.

10. Oculus Medium

Oculus, the well-known provider of VR platforms like Oculus Rift S, Oculus Quest, and Oculus Go also offers powerful VR development software, named Medium. It’s a comprehensive tool, which allows you to create 3D assets.

You can sculpt, model, and paint the VR assets you create. Even if you are a beginner, with Oculus Medium you can quickly create an immersive environment.