Augmented reality experiences have helped many people do their shopping, learn something new and have fun. But these experiences, so far, remained isolated—only available to the headset wearer or smartphone user. In a world where being connected is the key motto for success in business and private life, this is a shortcoming. But not anymore: the award-winning Wikitude software development kit (SDK) has reached version 8, which solves this problem.
Sharing and Saving Augmented Reality Experiences: A Dream Come True
So many AR app and game users have, at times, wanted to let their friends see what they were doing. Unfortunately, it has been virtually impossible to add more users to an AR experience, and equally impossible to save a copy of the experience and share it with others.
The team behind Wikitude SDK understood the potential in this shortcoming: where others had not felt the need to explore, they decided to analyze the situation and come up with a solution.
The solution came in the form of the latest update to the SDK, Wikitude 8, which was officially presented at the AWE conference in Santa Clara, CA, by the CEO of the company, Martin Herdina. He described the rationale behind the set of features added to the SDK: “So far AR has been a solo-experience. This is our entry point to transform it into a collaborative one. Moving forward, I am sure there will be a fundamental shift in how we consume information, communicate with each other and collaborate.”
How Wikitude 8 Changes Augmented Reality Experiences
The new version of the SDK has three new features that allow users to track, save and share their augmented reality experiences:
1. Scene Recognition—Tracking
This feature was on the top of most wanted additions to augmented reality SDKs. It allows a detailed and complex understanding of the real world environment where the user is located. Going beyond small items like furniture and decorations, the Scene Recognition feature will help developers process large spaces such as rooms, industrial warehouses and even large pieces of machinery.
Also, the Scene Recognition feature helps localize the user in the real world with maximum accuracy, superior even to GPS tracking. This will enable a more realistic placement of holographic objects in the real life environment and more natural interactions between the user and the CGI images.
2. Extended Object Tracking—Saving and Sharing
Thanks to this new feature, app and game developers will be able to create augmented reality experiences that persist even when the user moves away from the trigger marker. Thus, the user can move camera focus away from the marker but can continue to see and interact with the holographic image triggered by that marker.
3. Instant Targets—Saving
Instant Targets helps users save their augmented reality experiences, resume them on a different device and even share them with friends. This goes beyond a simple video recording of the experience. The saved file, once shared with others, will recreate the augmented reality set.
Another advantage brought forth by this feature is that it blurs the line between devices and operating systems. The users can access their saved augmented reality experiences on iOS or Android phones, as well as on the Universal Windows Platform.
The new SDK version also includes Unity live preview and an enhanced computer vision engine that offers increased stability and performance.
This video presentation focuses on the new features added to Wikitude SDK 8: