Vuforia Area Target Creator App

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Vuforia now supports creating small Area Targets on depth-enabled iOS devices with the Vuforia Area Target Creator app. If you possess an iPad Pro with the LiDAR Scanner, you can now create and test your Area Targets directly from one device. By scanning just for a few minutes, a small room can be turned into an Area Target Database ready for tracking and augmentations. 

NOTE: Only the iPad Pro devices with an inbuilt LiDAR Scanner supports the Vuforia Area Target Creator app. If you are looking for the Area Target Test app for Android/other iOS devices or HoloLens, you can find that information here.

Installation and Prerequisites

The app is available only for the iPad Pro 12.9-inch (4th generation) and the iPad Pro 11-inch (2nd generation) with the LiDAR sensors. Please refer to the Recommended Devices for the latest list of supported devices and alternatives.

Get the application from our public TestFlight link.

In order to create Area Targets, you will need your Vuforia Developer login credentials. If you do not yet have an account, you can sign up in the Vuforia Developer Portal, and the supporting guide can be found here.

Your Vuforia Developer account is linked to the quota of Area Targets you can create. 

NOTE: By default, you start with a quota of 10 Area Target generations. However, more can be obtained through our licensing options. If you have generated Area Targets before with your Vuforia Developer account in the Area Target Generator, that remaining quota will be your starting point and displayed in the app while creating a new Area Target.

Supported Environments

The iPad Pro LiDAR Scanning feature currently supports scanning smaller spaces up to 50 mor 500 sq. ft. We recommend to only scan indoors and minimize incoming natural light from windows. For a full list of recommendations, please see Best Practices for Preparing and Scanning an Environment

Creating Area Targets

  1. When you first create an Area Target, you will be prompted to login with your Vuforia Developer Credentials. Logging in can only be accomplished if you have Internet access. You can store your credentials in the OS keychain by checking the Remember me box. 

NOTE: You need Internet access throughout the generation of new Area Targets.

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The interface has three buttons. 

  • The Plus Button lets you create Area Targets.
  • The Container Button opens your stored Area Target Databases. Created Area Targets will be available here after generation.
  • The Reset Button is used for resetting tracking during Area Target tracking. 
  1. Proceed to press the Plus Button to set up a new Area Target scan.
    1. In the new window, you will be asked to name your Area Target

The name should be without spaces and using a-z, A-Z, 0-9, [ - _ .]

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  1. Once, Start Scan is pressed, slowly move around the room with the iPad scanning up and downwards to capture the room. A colorful mesh will appear on surfaces captured by the Vuforia Area Target Creator app. Note that a timer is also started in the right side of the screen which inform you of the available scanning time of 3 minutes. If the 3-minute mark is reached, the scanning process automatically concludes, and you may choose to save or discard the scan. 

NOTE: The Stop Button in the lower right corner can be pressed anytime to conclude the capturing process before the available time is spent. 

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For the best results, we encourage to scan only areas directly in front of you at a 0.5 to 2 meters (2 to 6 ft) distance and capture objects, surfaces, and the spaces between them. For a full guide on scanning practices, please see  Best Practices for Preparing and Scanning an Environment.

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NOTE: Notifications and pop-ups during scanning will interrupt the scanning process. It is advised to disable notifications of your other apps while using the Vuforia app. Do not disable the Internet connection as the app is required to communicate with the Vuforia servers at login and Area Target generation.

  1. When you consider the scan complete, press the Stop Button.
    • if it turns out that the scan was unsuccessful or interrupted, you can press the Stop Button and then press Cancel, however, the data will be lost. You will not be reducing your Area Target generation allowance by canceling. 
  2. If the scan was successful, you may press Generate. the Vuforia Area Target Creator App will then utilize the iPad’s processing power and generate an Area Target Database in the folder /AreaTargetData/ and reduce your remaining quota by one. This can only be executed while your device has WIFI access. 

A progress bar and remaining processing time will appear. When completed, a set of dataset files (.xml and .dat), a GLB mesh, and project Unity package .unitypackage will be ready for testing and/or extraction.

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NOTE: It is not possible to pause and resume at a later point during the scanning process. Also, it is not possible to build upon an already generated scan. Once an Area Target is generated, it is final. 

Testing Area Targets

You can choose to test Area Target Databases that are created with the iPad Pro or you can import Area Targets generated from the Area Target Generator through iTunes on a MacOS device or other third-party directory managing software such as iMazing or iExplorer

All available Area Target datasets should be placed in the app’s documents AreaTargetData folder on your iPad. 

  • Attach the iPad to your Mac device with a USB-C cable. 
  • Navigate to the Vuforia Area Target Creator App and the folder AreaTargetData
  • Copy your Area Target Datasets (.xml and .dat) files into a new sub-folder. I.e /AreaTargetData/NewAreaTarget/…
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Launching the app and pressing the Container Button will display a list of registered Area Targets databases. Selecting one or more, will initiate tracking of that Area Target(s). When the matching space is recognized, a white outline of the environment and the content therein will be rendered. Moving at a steady speed will ensure that the tracking experience is steady. 

Extracting Area Targets

The generated Area Targets can also be extracted and imported into the Unity Editor for authoring, testing in Simulator Mode, and rebuilt to your preferred device and platform as an area tracking AR application.  

  • Similar to placing Area Target datasets, the iPad Pro device must be connected via a USB-C cable to your Mac device. 
  • Navigate to the application folder AreaTargetData and copy the folder comprising of the created Area Target. The folder will contain the dataset files GLB mesh, and a .unitypackage for authoring. 

For a full guide to import .unitypackages and authoring Area Targets in Unity, please see Using Area Targets in Unity.

Learn More

Area Targets in Unity

How to Create Area Targets

Area Targets Test App User Guide

Best Practices for Preparing and Scanning an Environment

Area Targets Native Workflow