Building a simple Augmented Reality (AR) App using Unity and Vuforia

Within this two part workshop, we cover the basics of creating an Augmented Reality (AR) application using the Unity game development and Vuforia AR engines. We will start from scratch by setting up all required tools and programming environments, learn about marker-based AR, create a visual see-trough AR application that recognizes three different markers, and finally even implement some application logic to allow interaction between the different markers.

All tools that you are going to use are available free-of-charge. Unity and Visual Studio are available for both Windows and Mac OS X operating systems. Vuforia is a web platform (no install required), and provides a software development kit (SDK) for integration in Unity. The workshop requires a working web cam (the default webcam in your laptop should be sufficient in most cases, but of course you can also bring an external one that you connect via USB to your machine). Furthermore, it is recommended to have a computer mouse with at least three buttons, as it will help immensely to navigate in Unity (navigating with your notebook's trackpad can be quite tricky).

The workshop provides step-by-step instructions on how to set up your programming environment and how to create your first AR application. As part of the work on this workshop, you will be confronted with source code in the programming language C# in the context of the Unity game development engine (and you will also have to write some code yourself). It is not part of the workshop to teach basic programming principles nor the application of the C# programming language. Throughout the workshops slides you can find helpful resources (generally marked as Further Reading) in order to get some starting points to become more familiar with writing C# scripts in Unity.

Slides and source code, covering all relevant and required material to complete this workshop, are available online via GitHub: [ Part 1 ] [ Part 2 ]

Workshop Outcome

Screenshot illustrating the outcome of this workshop.

Workshop Content In Detail

Part 1 - Setup

  1. Visual Studio and Unity setup
  2. Vuforia setup
  3. AR setup in Unity

Part 2 - AR Marker Interaction

  1. Material and Color
  2. AR Marker Interaction - Scale up
  3. Implementation Challenge: AR Marker Interaction - Scale down

Prerequisites

  • Computer with Windows or Mac OS X operating system installed, powerful enough to install and run Unity.
  • Webcam connected to the computer.
  • Some basic understanding of the C# programming language in order to complete the workshops's Part 2 Milestone 3 (Implementation Challenge).

Helpful Online Resources

Further Reading

last update: January 2021