Image Targets

Image Targets represent images that Vuforia Engine can detect and track. The Engine detects and tracks the image by comparing extracted natural features from the camera image against a known target resource database. Once the Image Target is detected, Vuforia Engine will track the image and augment your content seamlessly using best in market image tracking technology.


Using Image Targets

Common uses of Image Targets include recognizing and augmenting printed media and product packaging for marketing campaigns, gaming, and visualizing products in the environment where the product was intended to be used.

The Image Targets sample app represents Vuforia’s core features and can be a great starting point to help you implement and configure Image Targets in an application.

TIP: Customize these samples with your own targets and content!


Supported Formats

Image Targets can be created with the Vuforia Target Manager using JPG or PNG images in RGB or grayscale. The size of the input images must be 2.25 MB or less and have a minimum width of 320 pixels . Features extracted from these images are stored in a cloud or device database, of which the latter can be downloaded and packaged together with the application. The database can then be used by Vuforia Engine for runtime comparisons. Another option is to create Image Targets within the Unity Editor by directly using image assets, or at run-time using corresponding API.

NOTE: That Image Targets are affected by glossiness and reflections from lighting sources. To maintain the best experience, the Image Target should be viewed under moderately bright and evenly lit diffused lighting. Please review Best Practices for Designing and Developing Image-Based Targets and Physical Properties of Image Targets pages for further tips & tricks.

Creating and Managing Image Targets

Preparing and Designing Images

Image Targets can use any planar image that provides sufficient detail to be detected by Vuforia Engine. Creating Image Targets consist of two steps. The first step is to design or select your target images and ensure they uphold the directions in the following guides for sizing, defining, and optimizing the images.

See the guide Image Targets Optimization Techniques for tips and tricks to pick or design images providing better AR quality experiences.

Create Image Targets

The second step is to create the actual Image Targets. Several options exist:

  1. Upload the images to the Vuforia Target Manager for evaluation and processing. The Target Manager processes the images to generate both data and visual representations of the target’s features. It also lets you review the target's expected detection and tracking performance rating. The Image Targets can thereafter be downloaded as a package suitable for integration in both native and Unity. See the Vuforia Target Manager for a detailed guide.
  2. As an alternative, Image Targets can also be created at runtime in both native and in the Unity Editor which doesn’t require you to upload the images. Specific guides for each can be found here:
  3. For use-cases with thousands of images or a constantly updated set of images, such as product-labels, newspapers, or magazines Vuforia Engine also offers a powerful cloud recognition technology in the cloud. See the Cloud Reco feature description for detailed guides.

To further aid in selecting which solution best fit your use case, please see Comparison of Device and Cloud Databases.

Advanced Topics

Using Device Tracking with Image Targets

The Device Pose Observer improves tracking robustness by using features of the environment surrounding the target. It enables you to use smaller targets and allows for tracking targets farther away from the camera. It additionally, enables Extended Tracking where your target can be tracked even when the Image Target is no longer in the camera view.

See: Device Tracking

Using Virtual Buttons with Image Targets

Virtual Buttons enable you to know when a specific area of the target image has been covered by the user. They provide a way to make Image Targets interactive. The following articles explain how to define and configure Virtual Buttons and how to add them to an Image Target.

See: How To Implement Virtual Buttons

Using Multiple Image Targets Simultaneously

For your specific scenarios and better use cases, Vuforia offers simultaneous tracking of targets and target types. You can also manage the number of tracked targets to limit the performance strain on the devices. Let multiple Image Target cards activate based on proximity or deliver an event when all targets have been found and collected to provide your users an immersive and interactive experience.

Visit Detect and Track Multiple Targets Simultaneously for more information.

Image Target API Overview

To track the Image Target it is associated with an Image Target Observer. The corresponding Observations returns the tracking data of the Image Target.

Please, refer to the Image Target API Overview for more information.

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