Vuforia Area Target Creator App

The Vuforia Area Target Creator app supports creating small Area Targets on iOS devices with LiDAR sensor. By scanning for a few minutes, a small room can be turned into an Area Target database instantly, ready to create augmented experiences in the environment.

See also the latest and most powerful development tool for your Vuforia Engine experience Vuforia Creator App that covers the same functionality described here.

Installation and Prerequisites

Please refer to the Supported Versions' section on Vuforia Engine Tools for the latest list of supported devices that can run the Vuforia app.

NOTE: Only devices with an inbuilt LiDAR Scanner and ARKit support 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.

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 20 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 Area Target Creator app supports room-sized spaces up to 50 m2 or 500 sq. ft. We recommend to scan in stable lighting conditions. For a full list of recommendations, please see Best Practices for Preparing and Scanning an Environment

See also Multiple Area Targets in Unity for a guide to map multiple smaller Area Targets together.

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 completed while you have Internet access. You can store your credentials in the OS keychain by checking the Remember me box.  

NOTE: Do not disable the Internet connection as the app is required to communicate with the Vuforia servers at login and during Area Target generation The Area Target Creator does not upload the scanned model, images, or any other part of your scan.

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.
  • Each database can be shared or deleted from this list by swiping left or right, respectively:
    • Swipe left for Sharing with platform provided sharing provider, such as Apple’s Airdrop, cloud storages, and mail. See Extracting Area Targets for more information.
    • Swipe right to Delete the created dataset and model. Pressing the delete icon will show a message to confirm your choice. Deleting an Area Target database will not refund your quota and it cannot be undone.

  • 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, [ - _ .]

  1. Once, Start Scan is pressed, slowly move around the room with the handheld device, scanning up and downwards to capture the room. A colorful mesh will appear on surfaces captured by the Vuforia Area Target Creator app. 

Scanning the space

The app supports a scanning time of 5 minutes. A countdown timer will automatically appear when there is 30 seconds remaining of the 5-minute mark. The countdown will appear in the upper right corner. If the 5 minutes are used up, the scan is automatically concluded, 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. 

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.

In situations where the scanning process is interrupted by notifications, pop-ups or accidentally pressing the home button, it can still be resumed by reopening the app and pointing the camera to an already scanned area. When resuming from a paused state, the app will take a few seconds to re-align the mesh to the room. 

Make sure, while resuming, you point at an already scanned area. Pointing at an unscanned area will likely cause the scan to misalign and fail to resume. If the re-alignment fails after 5 seconds, a message will appear to inform you that the scanning failed due to tracking failure, and request that you restart the scanning process.

  1. When you consider the scan complete, press the Stop Button.
    • if it turns out that the scan was unsuccessful or interrupted, you can always press the Stop Button and then press Cancel Scan, however, the data will be lost. You will not be reducing your Area Target generation allowance by cancelling. 
  2. If the scan was successful, you may press Generate. The Vuforia Area Target Creator App will generate an Area Target Database in the folder /AreaTargetData/ and reduce your remaining quota by one.
    • Choose between Legacy Dataset for backwards compatibility to earlier Vuforia Engine versions or select New Dataset to create an Area Target for 10.4 and above.

NOTE: Generating a dataset can only be executed while your device has internet access.

NOTE - Studio Developers: choose Legacy Dataset for compatibility with Vuforia Studio.

A progress bar and remaining processing time will appear. When completed, a set of dataset files (.xml and .dat), authoring and occlusion mesh files (.3dt), and a project Unity package .unitypackage will be ready for testing and/or extraction.

The generation progress will pause in case it is interrupted and can be resumed by returning to the Vuforia Area Target Creator app.

NOTE: it is not possible to extend 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 were created in the Vuforia Area Target Creator app or you can import Area Targets generated from the Area Target Generator by connecting the device to your computer. 

All available Area Target datasets should be placed in the app’s Documents/AreaTargetData/ folder on your device, which appear in the file explorer under Apps/Area Target Creator.

  • Attach the device to your computer with a USB-C cable. 
  • Navigate to the Vuforia Area Target Creator App and the folder AreaTargetData

If not yet present, create a new folder in the Documents folder named AreaTargetData.

  • Copy your Area Target Datasets (.xml and .dat) files into a new sub-folder. I.e /AreaTargetData/NewAreaTarget/…

Launch the app and press the Container Button to 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 ensures that the tracking experience is stable. 

Extracting Area Targets

The generated Area Targets can 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.  

Share your files

  1. Press the Container button and swipe one of the Area Target dataset listed to the left. A Share icon will appear. Press the Share icon next to a listed dataset.
  2. In the new window, select your transfer method from Airdrop, OneDrive, Dropbox, mail, or other sharing methods supported by Apple.

Alternatively, transfer Area Target datasets from the device via a USB-C cable to your computer. 

  1. Navigate to the app’s AreaTargetData folder and copy the sub-folder comprising of your Area Target dataset. The folder will contain the dataset files, authoring and occlusion mesh files, 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

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