PTC enhances Vuforia AR platform for Google Tango

Published 02 May 2017

Posted by Stephen Holmes

Article tagged with: design, ptc, vr, google, ar

PTC’s AR platform now supports’s Google’s smart sensor camera technology

At the Vision Summit event, PTC announced its Vuforia platform will support devices based on Tango, a set of sensors from Google, for development of a new generation of interactive AR experiences.

The Vuforia AR platform uses advanced computer vision technology to enable digital content to be placed in real-world environments.

Today, most AR content is associated with a specific object such as a toy, catalog or piece of machinery, with content typically triggered by the object, and does not have the ability to interact with surfaces in the surrounding environment such as the floor, walls, furniture, fixtures, etc. This lack of interaction remains a barrier to a wide range of room-scale AR experiences.

The Vuforia Smart Terrain feature addresses this challenge by providing developers with an easy-to-use representation of the physical environment, creating a hierarchy of objects and surfaces similar to a scene graph, but designed for AR development.

This environmental scene graph is created dynamically and can include objects defined by a developer, as well as objects and surfaces reconstructed from the environment. For example, toys can now come alive and roam a child’s playroom; furniture can pop out of a catalog to redecorate any room in the house.

Originally announced in 2014, Smart Terrain was designed to make use of a new generation of depth-aware camera technologies, such as those in Tango.

The Lenovo Phab 2 Pro and ASUS ZenFone AR are the first commercial smartphones with this capability and signal a new generation of devices that are expected to deliver a dramatically improved AR experience, and lead to further AR innovation and adoption.

“We are excited for the announcement of Vuforia’s Tango support, which will allow more developers to take advantage of improved AR tracking and 3D reconstruction using Vuforia’s Smart Terrain feature,” said Google engineering manager Eitan Marder-Eppstein.

Vuforia Smart Terrain describes the environment geometrically, but over time can describe the environment semantically to enable further creative power for developers and designers.

“Vuforia Smart Terrain will help realise the potential for devices with 3D camera technologies by making them easy to use for AR developers,” said Vuforia president Jay Wright.

“We’re providing developers a huge leap in creative freedom, and we can’t wait to see what they do with it.”

Vuforia Smart Terrain for Tango is expected to be available for Unity later this year, while developers interested in getting started with Vuforia today can click here.

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