Area Targets

Area Targets is a Vuforia powered environment tracking feature that enables you to track and augment areas and spaces. By using a 3D scan as an accurate model of the space to create an Area Target Device Database, you can easily deliver augmentations to stationary objects in the scanned environment. This enables creating games, navigation applications, and spatial instructions that are all using the surroundings as interactive elements to be explored. Offices, factory floors, apartments, public spaces, museums, and many more areas are ideal sites for Area Targets.

Prerequisites

Area Targets are created by delivering a digital model obtained by using any of the supported 3D depth scanning technologies listed below. The digital model is imported into the Area Target Generator which returns a set of dataset files, meshes, and Unity packages.

Area Targets support digital models made from the 

  • ARKit enabled devices with inbuilt LiDAR sensors
  • Matterport™ Pro2 3D Camera

The Vuforia Area Target Creator App

The Vuforia Area Target Creator app is now available for selected iOS devices with inbuilt LiDAR scanners. The application allows you to scan smaller spaces and generate Area Target Databases directly in the app that also can be tested right after. All that is required is your Vuforia Developer Credentials to login. See the Vuforia Area Target Creator App article on how to get started.

Matterport™

Matterport™ cameras perform high-quality scans that are easy to import into the Area Target Generator to create Area Targets. You only need a Matterport™ account and a Matterport™ Pro2 3D Camera. Visit the Matterport™ website to purchase or learn more about their capture services.

See our Scanning Guide Using the Matterport™ Camera to get started with preparations, equipment, and scanning process.

Supported Platforms and Environments

Platforms

The Area Target Generator (ATG) that is used to create Area Target Databases from digital spaces. is supported on Windows and macOS. Consult the table on the Supported Versions for more details. You can retrieve the ATG from the Vuforia Developer Platform.

ARKit and ARCore supported mobile devices and the HoloLens devices are eligible for Area Targets. See here for a list of supported devices.

Environments

We recommend to only scan indoor areas and regulate incoming natural light during the scanning process. That being said, almost any space can be used to create Area Targets and AR experiences as long as they have sufficient distinctive objects and remain unchanging (I.e. chairs and tables are rarely repositioned). See the Best Practices for Preparing and Scanning an Environment.

NOTE: Among the available scanning devices, you should expect varying results of the scan. An industry grade 3D-depth scanner will outperform smaller handheld scanners in detail, quality, and scannable area size. Therefore, we recommend that you consider your use case and which scanning technique best suit your needs. 

Creating Area Targets

Using the Area Target Generator

The Area Target Generator (ATG) application is available for creating Area Targets in only a few simple steps. Get the ATG from Vuforia’s downloads page. It should be used in conjunction with the Matterport™ service.

The ATG retrieves your scanned spaces from your personal, or your company’s Matterport™ account and generates a Vuforia Device Database. This consists of a .unitypackage, dataset files, and a textured mesh of the scanned space ready to be imported into a Unity project or your native development environment.

See the Area Target Generator User Guide for a step-by-step guide to install the ATG and further general information. The How to Create Area Targets article shows a step by step guide to generating Area Targets with the ATG.

Using the Vuforia Area Target Creator App

Alternatively, the Vuforia Area Target Creator app lets you scan, generate, and test Area Targets all within the application. It also allows you to retrieve the Area Target dataset files, .unitypackage, and textured mesh for authoring in the Unity Editor.

Developing with Area Targets

To create your application, you can load your Area Targets into the Unity Editor and author 3D augmentations into the 3D model of the scanned space. You can choose to develop the application entirely with the Unity Editor and deploy the application to your device for testing, or you can integrate the Area Target with the augmentation into a native application coded with the Vuforia native developer guidelines. See Using Area Target in Unity and Area Targets Native Workflow for information on how to develop with Area Targets.

The Area Target uses the AreaTracker and requires the Device Tracker to be enabled in your development environment. Additionally, you may combine tracking with an external source input such as GPS or indoor-positioning solutions to further improve localization in the space that you are using. See Area Target API Overview for more information.