AR DevelopmentAugmented RealityGuest Post

ARKit vs ARCore: Image Detection and Tracking

ARKit and ARCore feature comparison and business use cases.


ARReferenceImage in ARKit and Augmented Images in ARCore are capable of recognizing and superimposing 2D virtual images over original images in real-time, which presents a variety of business use-cases to AR developers.

One of them is using marker-based AR for indoor navigation. Having detected and recognized a visual marker placed on a floor surface or a wall with the help of ARKit or ARCore, the app then draws a virtual route, helping a visitor with wayfinding at the airports or shopping malls.

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Another application of the features is to impose virtual content on business cards, brochures, or billboards for marketing purposes.

What Is Better – ARKit or ARCore?

End-users are the ultimate decision-makers when it comes to which technology dominates. In 2019, ARKit was deployed across 650 million devices while there were around 400 million ARCore-enabled devices.

As of May 2020, there is still a lag in ARCore development. ARKit yields 4,000+ results in the GitHub repository in comparison to ARCore’s 1,400+.

Comparing ARKit and ARCore

There are similarities between these tools: both are Unity framework-compatible; both are similar in the capability of sensing changes in lighting and accessing motion sensors. These factors place the tools on equal footing when it comes to understanding physical environments.

However, ARCore pulls ahead of ARKit when it comes to mapping. ARCore’s larger mapping dataset increases the speed and quality of mapping that is achieved through the collection and storage of 3D environment information. ARKit does not store the same amount of local condition data and information. Instead, it uses a “sliding window” method that stores only recently experienced data. But, the ARWorldMap feature appeared in ARKit 2 smoothed this difference.

In terms of speed and accuracy of image superimposition, end-users are still confined to the limitations of their chosen devices. Due to the TrueDepth Camera, iOS devices are often superior to software-driven Android-based devices.

ARKit pulls ahead of ARCore when it comes to recognition and augmentation. This can be seen in the side-by-side comparison captured in the video below.

A user watches as the Mona Lisa painting is replaced by a virtual image that blinks. The virtual image uses movement and user-engagement when the user taps on the image.

An end-user employing ARKit technology has a superior user experience than the ARCore user. Their image is smoother and replicates the original in a more realistic manner. Real-time imaging is also improved, as can be witnessed when the user moves their phone.

Choosing the Platform

Both technologies are still in development. The push-and-pull to the finish line is still underway. End-users have yet to pick one platform and stick with it. When choosing a platform for your business, it is wise to employ both tools so that end-users can engage using a multitude of devices.

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Guest Post

About the Guest Author(s)

andrew makarov mobidev
Andrew Makarov
Augmented Reality Solution Architect | MobiDev | + posts

Andrew is a big fan of technology and innovations. He is responsible for mobile app development at MobiDev (USA/Ukraine) and integration of innovative technologies into custom software products. He is a speaker at tech conferences MobileTechCon, DevFest, SmallBusinessExpo, Webinale, and a contributor to tech blogs.