Vuforia now supports creating small Area Targets on depth-enabled iOS devices with the Vuforia Area Target Creator app. If you possess an ARKit enabled device 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 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.
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.
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.
The app currently supports scanning smaller spaces up to 50 m2 or 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
- 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: 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 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.
- Proceed to press the Plus Button to set up a new Area Target scan.
- 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, [ - _ .]
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- If the scan was successful, you may press Generate. the Vuforia Area Target Creator App will then utilize the device’s processing power and generate an Area Target Database in the folder /AreaTargetData/ and reduce your remaining quota by one.
NOTE: This can only be executed while your device has internet 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.
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 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 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. On Apple devices you can use iTunes 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 device.
- Attach the device to your computer 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/…
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 stable.
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 computer.
- 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.