Area Target Generation Data Processing

This article provides an in-depth overview of the type of data collected and exchanged with PTC servers during the generation of Area Targets.


Generate Area Targets from the Vuforia Engine ecosystem via one of the below listed three different possibilities:

  • Area Target Generator (ATG) – a developer tool for Windows & MacOS desktop computers.
  • Vuforia Creator App (VCA) – a mobile application for iOS devices with LiDAR sensor.
  • Area Target Capture API – a functionality of the Vuforia Engine SDK to build apps capable of scanning spaces.

The ATG processes various input data and generates an Area Target from it.

The VCA is a Vuforia provided application, which allows to capture source data for an Area Target and generate an Area Target out of it.

Using the Area Target Capture API in an application, like the VCA, allows for building similar functionalities.

Area Target Data

Area Targets can be generated from a variety of input data sources. When generating an Area Target, a collection of assets is generated in different files and packages. See the table below for an overview:

Input Sources and Data for Area Target Generation


Source Data


Matterport™ Cloud

MatterPak™, panoramic images

Downloaded via the ATG from the Matterport Cloud.

Leica Scanners


The ATG loads the E57 input file from local drive.

Area Target Capture API

3DT Space File (authoring file)

Produced on capturing devices or by the ATG from input data.

Area Target Generation Output Data and Files

Output Data

Output File


Authoring Model

(Vuforia 3DT Space representation)

Authoring model and source to derive all other assets.

Vuforia Tracking Dataset

mySpace.xml and mySpace.dat

Used by Vuforia Engine to track the environment.

Occlusion Mesh


Rendered to occlude augmentations.

Navigation Mesh Input


3D model of Space to create Unity NavMesh.

Unity Editor Package


Above assets are packaged for the Unity Editor for Area Target authoring and development.

Vuforia Studio Package

Above assets are packaged for importing into Vuforia Studio.

Data Retention and Data Transfer

When generating Area Targets, depending on the source, different files are stored locally on the processing platform, or transmitted via network.

The Area Target Generator retrieves data from the Matterport Cloud or from the provided file input (E57 or 3DT). Data is stored temporarily on disk and removed after generating the Area Target. Data from the Matterport Cloud is secured via HTTPS protocol.

Using the VCA or the Area Target Capture API, the source data for the Area Target is collected via capturing camera frames, depth information, and other sensor data on the respective device.

Each of these methods generates the Area Target locally on the executing device – the desktop computer or the mobile platform. No intermediate or output-data that allows to recognize or reconstruct the represented environment is shared across the network with PTC servers or any other service. This includes panoramic images, camera frames, depth information, point-clouds, meshes, or other sensor data. Temporary data is removed after processing.


Although no information is shared that would allow identification of the space, the ATG, VCA, and the Area Target Capture API contact PTC servers to exchange account and analytics information.

Account and Analytics Data exchanged with PTC servers during Area Target Generation

The following data is shared with PTC when generating Area Targets:




Authentication credentials 

Username/password, or derived oAuth2 credentials

Identifies your Vuforia Engine developer account to verify eligibility to generate Area Targets. Available for all account types.

Area Target Allowance

Area Target allowance check

Verifies you have quotas left to generate Area Targets. On successful generation, reduces the allowance to reflect up to date allowance.

Dataset Signing

MD5 hash

A numeric hash is computed and signed via PTC server to identify output as a genuine Vuforia dataset.

Analytics Data

Key-value pairs

Metrics of the processed space and statistical data of target generation.

The analytics data collected helps us identify usage trends and configurations to continue improving the developer experience. Metrics include statistical data about the size of the scanned space, number of panoramas and scanning positions. For a general overview of data communication between Vuforia Engine-enabled applications, tools and PTC, please refer to Vuforia Statistics.

NOTE: It is possible to use the VCA and the Area Target Capture API in a fully air-gapped environment with no connection to the Internet, such as factory floors or remote environments with no connectivity. In this case, only data can be captured using the Vuforia Engine SDK, resulting in a Vuforia 3DT Space file (Authoring Model), that can be later used to generate an Area Target on desktop with the Area Target Generator.


To ensure the proper functioning of the ATG, VCA, and Area Target Capture API when generating Area Targets, the processing devices must be connected to a stable Internet connection. The listed applications (or apps based on the Area Target Capture API) must be able to reach the below listed URLs. Especially in corporate environments, make sure to grant HTTPS access, to:

  • * domains.

In case you are processing scans from Matterport™ cloud, ensure to grant the ATG access to reach

  • * domains.

In case your corporate IT infrastructure or provider uses SSL/TLS inspection, please make sure to create an exception when using the Area Target Generator. Such services inject a certificate into the certificate chain and may cause the certificate verification to fail with a self-signed certificate in certificate chain error while establishing the HTTPS connection. If the connection cannot be established, neither login nor ATG functions are possible.

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