Top 5 AR Tools For Development In 2021

As you already know AR is a digital version of the real-life environment in the form of illustrations. This can range from the likes of dinosaurs walking by you at your shopping mall, special effects when you put on some glasses at a theme park, A little version of you dancing on your desk, using AR to train new factory employees with immersive instructions, and just about anything you can imagine. This augmentation is achieved by digital sound, visual elements, or other sensory stimuli carried out with the help of technology.

However, the advancement in the AR sector has seen incredible growth in 2020. AR technology has huge potential in business, especially after it has begun to be used by industry leaders like Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, Google, and Amazon. Analysts say that the AR technology market already sits at $15.3 billion, and will continue to grow.

Augmented Reality applications have begun to transform every segment in one way or another, these sectors include, healthcare, gaming, education, and entertainment. To get the most of AR technology, there are the frameworks that we believe will be most used in 2021:


This is a well-known tool for designing Augmented Reality applications. Wikitude was built by an Australian software development company and first came to the market in 2008. This software development kit is updated and improved on a constant basis.

Wikitude is a flexible platform, where developers can create customized solutions. It is supported by all the top OS, such as iOS, Android, and Windows.

Some of the features of the Wikitude SDK:

-Create apps for smart glasses.
-Employ location-based services.
-Employ scene, object, and image recognition features.
-Use Native API, Unity3D, Titanium, JavaScript API, Xamarin, Cordova for development.
-Import and render 3D objects with SLAM technology.
-Data storage on the device or in the cloud.
-Without any coding requirement, can be used to manipulate and manage virtual objects.


After Apple’s ARKit, Google came up with ARCore to support Augmented Reality app development for both iOS and Android platforms. The three key technologies for implanting virtual content into the real world are environmental recognition, motion tracking, and lighting recognition.

ARCore is supported by many platforms including, iOS 11+, Unity for Android Unreal Engine, Android 7.0+, Unity for iOS. Some of this SDK’s features:

-Evaluating lighting to modify it on virtual objects.
-Placing virtual objects or texts in a particular area and sharing them with other users.
-Designing 3D objects with Blocks VR and Tilt Brush building tools.
-Chasing the phone’s position and motion based on surrounding objects.
-Learning the environment by detecting size, location, and surfaces.
-Works with Unreal, Java/OpenGL, and Unity.


This is perhaps, the most famous AR framework released by Qualcomm, sure they specialize in research and development of the SoC electronic microchips as well as wireless modes of communication, but they’ve gotten into AR too.

The platform has a QCAR library written in C++ language, that consists of targets like cuboid, word targets, image cube, cylinder, frame markers, and other image rendering features. Vuforia solutions are supported by iOS, Unity Editor, Android, and Universal Windows Platform.

Some of Vuforia’s main features:

-ith an in-built English vocabulary of approximately 100,000 words, there is ease in text recognition and custom models can also be created.
-Video playback can be done when a particular condition is met, e.g. , an image is detected.
-Smart glasses support.
-2D and 3D objects can be identified with Vuforia Object Scanner.
-VuMarks: barcodes that act as markers and contain data.
-Any surface can be converted into a touchscreen with virtual buttons.
-Data storage in the Cloud or device.


This kit built by Apple is a complete package of profiled tools offering a new approach to Augmented Reality technology. It was launched at WWDC 2017. Apart from supporting Airkit Unity, it also has a unique feature; there is no requirement to link with additional directional markers like iBeacon for routing and orientation in this SDK.

However, this tool is only compatible with Apple platforms; iOS 11 or newer. The following are the main highlights of this SDK:

-3D objects and space recognition.
-Detecting horizontal planes.
-Facial tracking.
-2D image tracking and detection.
-AR experiences can be shared with other users allowing the development of multiplayer AR games.
-Estimating lighting to make the virtual objects appear realistic.


This is a powerful software framework that is growing rapidly in popularity and adoption. Mainly, it is based on the following elements:

-Instant Tracker: it recognizes a flat surface in the camera’s visual field to keep a 3D object over it.
-Object Tracker: map files can be loaded and AR objects can be put over them.
-Image Tracker: identifies and detects planar circuits of an image. It aids three tracking modes; Extended (for detecting everything in the camera’s vision), Normal (standard mode), and Multi (for detecting up to 3 objects)
-Visual SLAM: saves and builds 3D maps that are scaled autonomously.
-Barcode/QR Scanner: identifies ‘pre-programmed’ barcodes & QR-codes.
-MaxST is compatible with platforms like; iOS, Mac OS, Android, and Windows.


If your team is embarking on the development of an AR solution chances are that using one of these 5 AR development tools will allow you to build exactly what you are looking to build, in the most immersive and high-quality way possible and for all the top Operation Systems out there.

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