VuMark is the next-generation bar code. It allows the freedom for a customized and brand-conscious design while simultaneously encoding data and acting as an AR target. VuMark designs are completely customizable, so you can have a unique VuMark for every unique object.

The VuMark provides a universal solution for delivering unique AR experiences on any object, while allowing the design freedom for a custom look and feel. The VuMark also provides a simple method for encoding data such as an URL or a product serial number, and overcomes the limitations of existing matrix bar code solutions that do not support AR experiences and can detract from a product’s appearance.

VuMarks have application in both the enterprise and consumer markets. VuMarks are a game changer for the enterprise because they offer a scalable way to identify objects and overlay 3D step-by step instructions that indicate how to use them. This leads to significant cost savings for employees operating and servicing equipment.

In the consumer market, VuMarks offer a reliable way to recognize and track toys, electronics, and tools. Consumer brands can create 3D experiences that are designed to show how to use the product or to add value with new digital features.

VuMarks vs Image Targets

VuMarks provide some of the same capabilities as Vuforia ImageTargets, in that they can be individually recognized and tracked by the Vuforia Engine. Both can be used to create rich Augmented Reality experiences.

But there are also significant differences that make VuMarks especially useful for many enterprise and consumer applications.

  • VuMarks can present millions of uniquely identifiable instances
  • VuMarks can encode a variety of data formats
  • VuMarks enable you to differentiate among identical looking products based on their Instance ID

The same VuMark design can be used to encode a range of unique IDs or data. This is especially useful when you need to be able to use the same image universally, yet need for that image to possess a unique identity and/or information.

Use Cases

VuMarks enable you to subtly integrate AR targets with your brand and customer experiences. They can both store encoded data and initialize an AR experience.

Enterprise Use Cases

  • Identify parts and equipment
  • Precisely register service and operations instructions to the areas and surfaces they pertain to

Consumer Use Cases

  • VuMarks on toys to register ownership and unlock digital content


Creating VuMarks

VuMark designs can be created in Adobe Illustrator using the VuMark Designer tool, and then uploaded to the Target Manager as SVG files. There are a few basic rules for designing VuMarks that are explained in the VuMark Design Guide. Design Elements VuMarks have five primary design components that contribute to their uniqueness, detectability, and data encoding capabilities.


Attribute Role
Contour The Contour is what the Vuforia Engine computer vision algorithm first detects. After finding the contour, the algorithm looks for the code and “reads” it to identify the value or “ID” that is encoded within the VuMark.

The Contour is not explicitly drawn or visible in a VuMark design. Rather, the Contour is the line that appears where two other parts of the VuMark meet – the Border and the Clear Space. Essentially the Contour is defined by the contrast between the two different colors of the Border and Clear Space.
Border The Border is typically the most identifiable and defining shape within the VuMark. In FIGURE 2, the Border is the outermost shape made of six straight lines forming a hexagon.
Clear Space The Clear Space is the mandatory blank area that appears adjacent to the border along its entire length. The Clear Space can be either inside or outside of the border and is required in order to guarantee there is enough contrast for the algorithm to detect the Contour.
Code Elements Every individual VuMark contains a unique Code, which is a visual representation of the ID encoded in the VuMark.

The Code consists of Elements and the type of data and length of the value/ID that is encoded determine the number of Elements. The larger the value length, the larger number of elements that are required.

Every Element has 2 states: a “Dark” and “Bright” state. A unique code is generated by setting some of the elements in the Dark vs. Bright state (roughly 50% of Elements in each state).
Background The Background or Design Area is a layer where you can put any parts of the VuMark that are not used for detection. There is a lot of freedom in designing and placing the Background. We recommend to add graphically rich background if you plan to use VuMark for tracking as well.

Once you've designed your VuMark in Adobe Illustrator, you'll export it as a Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) file and then upload that file to the Target Manager. VuMarks are added to VuMark databases that you configure online and then download from the Target Manager. They are added to your Vuforia Engine project in Unity, Android Studio, Xcode or Visual Studio 2015 and packaged with your app's executable.

For more information on designing VuMarks, See: VuMark Design Guide and Designing a VuMark in Adobe Illustrator

To learn how to manage your VuMarks in the Target Manager, See: How To Work with VuMark Databases

Working with VuMarks

After you've uploaded your VuMark design to the Target Manager and added it to a VuMark database, you can generate instances of your design that encode unique identifiers, strings, numbers or bytes.
VuMark instances can either be downloaded from the Target Manager, or retrieved programmatically using the VuMark Generation API. See: Using the VuMark Generation API

VuMarks are supported for both Unity and native Vuforia Engine apps in Java, C++, and C#. There is also a VuMark sample app that shows you how to work with VuMarks in Unity, Android Studio, XCode, and Visual Studio 2015.

Working with VuMarks

For an overview of the VuMark API, please refer to the VuMark API Overview.