Vuforia Engine Overview

Vuforia Engine offers tracking a variety of objects and spaces that can be categorized as Images, Objects, and Environments. Use this overview to quickly get started with the solution and Vuforia features best fitting your needs.


Image Targets

Attach content onto flat images, such as print media and product packaging

  • Instant Image Targets – Create Image Targets at runtime or from a database.
  • Best Practices – Learn to make ideal image compositions for Image Targets.
  • Device Database – Learn how to create the Device Databases in the Vuforia Target Manager

Multi Targets

Use more than one Image Target and arrange them into regular geometric shapes (e.g. boxes) or in any arbitrary arrangement of planar surfaces with Multi Targets.

  • Best Practices – Learn to prepare the images to properly be uploaded in the Vuforia Target Manager.

Cylinder Targets

Recognize images wrapped onto objects that are cylindrical or close to in shape (e.g. beverage bottles, coffee cups, soda cans).

Cloud Recognition Service

Recognize a large set of images and frequently update the database with new images. 

  • Cloud VS Device Databases – Learn the differences between the two database types and select the solution best fitting your needs.
  • Vuforia Web Services – With the VWS API you can manage these large image databases in the cloud efficiently and you can automate your workflows in your own Content Management System.
  • VuMark API generation – Learn more on using VuMark with Cloud Recognition.


These are customized markers that can encode a range of data formats. They support both unique identification and tracking for AR applications.

Barcode Scanner

Detect a large variety of barcodes from your AR experience application

  • Best Practices – Familiarize yourself with the conditions for detecting and reading barcodes.
  • Barcode Unity Guide – Follow this guide to easily set up Barcode Reader.


Model Targets

Allow you to recognize objects by shape using pre-existing 3D models. Place AR content on a wide variety of items like industrial equipment, vehicles, toys, and home appliances. See the Comparison of Object Tracking Methods for help selecting the right tracking technology for your product.


Area Targets

Augment real environments that you scan using the Vuforia Creator App or a commercially available 3D scanner. Create accurately aligned persistent content into a wide variety of commercial, public, and fun places to enrich spaces with augmented experiences.

  • Scanning an Environment – Learn the best practices on scanning an environment with each supported device. 
  • Vuforia Creator App – Use the Creator app to capture, generate, and test your Area Targets.
  • Area Target Generator – Get this tool if you have a scan from one of the supported professional scanners.
    • Create Area Target – Follow this guide to make your first Area Target from a professional-equipment-made scan.
    • Area Targets Test App – Test your Area Targets on your device by following this guide
  • Area Targets in Unity – Proceed to customize and add augmentations in the space with this guide. 

Ground Plane

Enables you to place content on horizontal surfaces in the environment like tables and floors.  

Other Vuforia Engine Features

Vuforia Fusion

Designed to provide the best possible AR experience on a wide range of devices. Fusion senses the capabilities of the underlying device (such as ARKit/ARCore) and fuses them with Vuforia Engine's features, allowing developers to rely on a single Vuforia API for an optimal AR experience.

  • AR Foundation – Vuforia Engine can also be used alongside the AR Foundation Platform.
  • ARCore – See this page for setting up ARCore with Vuforia Engine in Unity.

Device Tracking

Vuforia Engine offers robust and accurate tracking by using the Device Pose Observer that includes tracking a Vuforia target even when the object or content is no longer in the camera view. Note that some Vuforia features are required to run on a Device Pose supported device.

Recording and Playback

Record and replay your AR session to test, experience, and improve your AR development workflow with the Session Recorder. Use the API or the ready-made SessionRecorder GameObject in Unity to record your Vuforia targets and continue to develop even when those targets or spaces are unavailable.

Driver Framework

Allows developers to provide and consume data from external systems through Vuforia Engine. Developers can also use the Driver Framework to record sessions and create custom drivers for their custom devices. 

External Camera

Access video data from a camera outside of the one in a phone or tablet when creating AR experiences. The external camera is used in extension of the Driver Framework.

  • Camera Calibration – Learn more on setting up an external camera and adding it to the Vuforia Engine input.

Branding Guidelines

If you wish to use the PTC and Vuforia logo and trademarks, please see the following resources on the requirements of usage.

Brand Identity

Logo Rule of Use

Can this page be better?
Share your feedback via our issue tracker