Today I’m delighted to announce the release of our brand new suite of libraries and SDKs we call Universal AR.
At Zappar we already provide a fully integrated suite of tools for building AR experiences but now, for the first time, we’re releasing our core computer vision technologies, including face tracking, image tracking and instant world tracking for you to use with the platform or creative tool of your choice.
This is part of our continuing mission to democratize augmented reality - to make it accessible to developers in the environment that best suits their creative process, and to reach end-users on as wide a range of different mobile devices as possible.
Until now, developing AR experiences featuring image, face and world tracking for both web and app environments has meant choosing from a range of disparate SDKs and libraries. This means developers have had to juggle dependencies, conflicts, and performance bottlenecks, all while learning different APIs and conventions. Over the past year, we've witnessed the necessity for more flexibility and versatility amongst the developer community to create powerful, cross-platform AR. Now, with Universal AR, developers can create immersive image, face and world tracked AR experiences in the platform or toolkit of their choice and instantly deploy to the web or build into native apps for submission to the App Stores. The Universal AR APIs are consistent across the various supported platforms, while accommodating the conventions and styles of each.
And there’s a second cherry on the cake - Universal AR has unprecedented levels of device support.
In addition to native iOS and Android, the full SDK, including all tracking types, work seamlessly in the standard web browsers already installed on your users’ phones. There’s no need for any special pre-release versions of browsers, nor do you have to make any significant changes in your project to accommodate different mobile platforms.
With our Universal AR libraries for ThreeJS and A-Frame, you can jump straight in and build content using some of the web’s most popular 3D platforms. They’re available on NPM, for direct download, or with a CDN URL that you can pop directly into a <script> tag. Our NPM module fully supports bundling with webpack, and includes TypeScript type definitions, making for a modern and delightful development process.
Find out more about our web-based Universal AR SDKs:
Universal AR SDK for Unity
With our Universal AR for Unity SDK you can build face tracked, image tracked or world tracked AR experiences in the editor you already know and love. While you can deploy these experiences to the iOS and Android app stores, today I can announce we also support Unity’s WebGL build platform. You can even switch between the different native and web platforms without any project or script changes.
Universal AR is the only SDK with this breadth of computer vision technology that enables you to build with Unity and deploy instantly to the web.
Deploy with ZapWorks
With our ZapWorks platform it is super easy to preview and publish your web-based Universal AR experiences. You can upload your site using ZapWorks online, or our command line tool, and deploy in seconds. Alternatively you can host your content yourself - hit up our docs site to find out how.
Get started at zap.works
Check out our command-line tool
Universal AR is the next step in Zappar’s mission to democratise AR - but it’s not the last step. Over the coming months we’ll continue to broaden this ecosystem, with optimized libraries for more platforms, improved tooling to make it easier to build rich AR experiences, and of course with more computer vision technologies.
You can get started with Universal AR right now- head over to zap.works/universal-ar to download your SDK of choice.
We can’t wait to see what you build :-)