ServReality will tell you about the best virtual/augmented reality libraries that are open source and that are well worth trying if you want to develop a virtual, augmented or mixed reality application. We will include their basic description as well. So, let’s get started.
The Best VR Libraries That Are Free to Use:
- OpenCV with OpenGL
OpenCV is the first-rated and finest apps in the computer vision industry. It is free, powerful, feature-rich, and has a truly great community. It covers vision algorithms, that’s why many developers use it with OpenGL as an augmented reality API.
Platforms covered: Android, Windows, and Linux.
Google stands behind ARCore, so it is a rather functionality-rich platform for VR/AR development. You can download it starting from Android SDK 7.0 and above.
ARCore comes with the following options:
- Environmental understanding: you can place virtual objects in a way that physically connects with the real world.
- Motion Tracking: it is great for going around and interacting with virtual content.
- Light Estimation: you can make realistic looking objects by dynamically changing the light dependable on the surrounding lighting.
Platforms covered: Android, Unity, Unreal Engine, Web.
ARToolKit is powerful, fast and easy to use software, which supports video and optical see-through augmented reality. It comes with such great capabilities:
- Position/orientation tracking of both Single-camera or stereo-camera
- Camera/optical stereo calibration
- Basic black squares/planar image tracking
- Support of the Optical head-mounted display
- Unity and OpenSceneGraph plugins.
Platforms covered: Mac OS, iOS, Windows, Android, Linux, plus Smart Glasses.
Needless to note, each toolkit version has the same functionality, but the performance varies depending on the specific hardware settings.
- Apple ARKit
Coming with iOS 11, ARKit allows easy augmented reality experiences creation for iPhone and iPad. Currently, It comes with such amazing capabilities:
- Fast, stable motion tracking
- Plane estimation with basic boundaries
- Ambient lighting estimation
- Scale Estimations
- SLAM tracking and sensor fusion.
Platforms covered: iOS, Metal, SceneKit, Unity, Unreal Engine and other third-party tools.
With this platform, detecting simple images and 3D objects made easy and snap. Plus, in the Unity Editor, it’s not difficult to create a database. By the way, it has both a free version and a paid one. Its free version is used for testing only. To use it at full, you will need to upgrade and that will cost you around $1230.
Platforms covered: Android and iOS.
The Bottom Line
Despite the fact that there is a pretty solid number of libraries you can use for virtual/ augmented software development, the ServReality team has specified these five: OpenCV with OpenGL, ARCore, ARToolKit, Kudan, and Apple ARKit. They are robust, feature-packed, and pretty easy and even fun to use.
And which open source development tools do you use for your augmented reality app development?