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Some clarifications regarding 'Recos' and Pricing Plans

February 25, 2015 - 2:35pm #1

With the announcement of the new pricing plans, I'm sure I'm not the only one left with questions regarding the definition of 'Recos' - and I'd like to pose a few questions to the Vuforia team to see what additional clarifications we can get.

  1. If an application loses tracking and regains it several times (ie, 'reco's an image target multiple times) in one application session, does that count as a single 'reco' or multiple?  
  2. If an application 'reco's multiple image targets or objects in a single session, does that count as a single 'reco' or multiple?
  3. If a user-defined reco occurs, does that count against monthly quotas?
  4. Are offline 'reco's (ie, not cloud-based) counted against monthly quotas?

I'm sure there will be more clarification questions to be asked, but these are my immediate questions.   Looking forward to more information from the Vuforia team.

Some clarifications regarding 'Recos' and Pricing Plans

February 27, 2015 - 3:36pm #26

Two hours to remove protection from all libraries.

Some clarifications regarding 'Recos' and Pricing Plans

February 26, 2015 - 3:28pm #25

VuforiaSales1 wrote:

Stay tuned for updates coming shortly.

Considering your guys' track record over the past few months with communicating.............

Some clarifications regarding 'Recos' and Pricing Plans

February 26, 2015 - 3:09pm #24

Thanks for all of your detailed feedback. We’re reading every post and we hear you. Stay tuned for updates coming shortly.

Vuforia Sales will be closely monitoring and replying to this thread:https://developer.vuforia.com/forum/license-manager/vuforia-40-licensing-discussion

Some clarifications regarding 'Recos' and Pricing Plans

February 26, 2015 - 2:56pm #23

As a datapoint I'd like to provide some stats on our usage. We have an app thats designed to be somewhat sticky (e.g. its not just a "huh, thats cool" branded advertising app that people use once, but rather an experience that our business model depends on being as lengthy as possible - that being a key sign of engagement/retention).

We had a small 4-hour session recently to promote the app and get some early analytics data. From roughly 200 downloads we saw 3400 "marker found" events in our analytics on that day. We use quite small markers (and so losing the tracking isnt uncommon), and have 5 targets built into the app (this will extend to 30 or so later).  

3400 events / 200 users = 17 marker-found events per user on that day, not unreasonable for a mid-sized session with our app. Assuming the usage drops off over a month (although our main goal is to prevent that as much as possible) to a good mobile game's retention (100%, 40%, 20% and 10% at 0, 1, 7 and 30 days)  we would see just over 600% of that usage over the month. 3400 * 6 = 20,400 for 200 new users.

Of course active users (who will make up the userbase) will stay something close to the original 17 per day figure as long as they're engaged with the app - lets say they fall to 12 per day. 200*12*30 = 72,000

So all in all, with some rough back-of-a-napkin figures, an audience of 200 active users would produce 72,000 events per month requiring Gold tier at $999 per month (or $5 outlay per user per month). Having 200 new users try the app will create 20,400 events in a month on top of cost of user acquisition.

Bear in mind that no serious mass-market app is sustainable at 200 users - we would need to reach mid 5-figure active-user numbers, and preferably 6/7 figures for sustainable growth. You can see Daily Active User figures for some mobile apps at the bottom here http://www.gamesbrief.com/2011/10/daily-active-users-daus/

Some clarifications regarding 'Recos' and Pricing Plans

February 26, 2015 - 8:30am #22

dronpes wrote:

 

  1. Are offline recos (ie, non-cloud, device-level) counted towards the monthly quota?
  2. Is this pricing structure for a single application, or for all applications in a developer account?  (The FAQ is worded around a single app - hence the confusion...)
  3. If a user-defined reco occurs, does that count against monthly quotas?
  4. Is internet connectivity required to reco a target?  If not, will offline reco events 'tally up' and report back to update your quota when connectivity returns?  If not, how is this handled?
  5. Is there a way to opt out of overage service?  Ie, simply cease providing recos after quota is used up, rather than get hit with a huge bill if a download spike hits in the middle of the night before you can upgrade?
  6. Does the 'watermarked' plan truly get unlimited non-cloud repos?
  7. Is there no plan for those who don't want the cloud services at all and only want non-watermarked, device-level recos? (ie, most developers I've talked with)  Why not?  Might it be added soon?
  8. Is Qualcomm satisfied that these plans will cost between $2-5 per user for any consumer mobile app doing more than one-time novelty tracking?
  9. Are smaller developer shops, indie game developers, and entreprenuers (those who operate at high risk on tight budgets) expected to leave Vuforia for other options at this point?  These cannot limit their apps to 200 users, nor can pay ongoing high costs for simple device-level recos on free or cheap mobile apps.

 

 

I, as well as countless others, are demanding answers to the above questions.

 

Forcing our applications to require network connectivity to even use Vuforia 4.0 is out of control, please clear this up by answering the above list. 

 

Thank you

Some clarifications regarding 'Recos' and Pricing Plans

February 26, 2015 - 4:03am #21

gregquinn wrote:

Wanted to add to this - I was waiting for 4.0 production release before embarking on a project, but won't now. The pricing plans are insane - I guess the Vuforia team is under pressure to show an ROI, but, for example, a Platinum license (whose price isn't even provided because it would scare people) is required for an enterprise app? Really? Because all Enterprise environments are Fortune 500 and well funded?

I thought the initial idea was to demonstrate and promote what is possible with Qualcomms SnapDragon cores? Was this ever really meant to be something that generated a huge indipendent ROI? I'm fairly sure I've seen videos from amateur Youtubers at conferences where they spoke to developers / representatives who stated that it was free because this was the idea behind it. I'd have happily paid a fee for a license but this pricing plan is hilarious. There are absolutely zero circumstances where I would consider using Vuforia now. All of the videos Vuforia upload to their Youtube channel are now just examples of what no one financially rationalize doing. Sadly this will probably be the last time I end up on the vuforia developer portal.

Some clarifications regarding 'Recos' and Pricing Plans

February 26, 2015 - 3:50am #20

I understand that offline recognitions are counted against monthly quota. For example, Usage FAQ says:

How are recos counted for multi-targets?

Recos for each part (image) in a multi-target are counted separately. For example, if a multi-target has 3 parts and all three parts are seen simultaneously in the camera field of view, then the reco count is 3.

Multi-targets can only be build with Device databases, not Cloud databases. If you try adding a new Device database from Target Manager you can add "Cuboid" and "Cylinder" targets (now also "3D Object") , but if you add Cloud database you can upload a single image only.

Pricings are completely overestimated for the vast majority of projects, specially not public apps that can only be deployed with Platinum license. None our clients (we have small and big ones) are going to pay 400$ or 999$ every month just to include AR because apps have lots of other features, not only AR.

There are cheaper alternatives if you plan to make more than one app which will live more than 2 or 3 months.

 

Some clarifications regarding 'Recos' and Pricing Plans

February 26, 2015 - 1:47am #19

dolaizola wrote:

I'm very confused by the pricing system as well. If you deploy an app and it goes viral, say 10000 downloads and 100000 recos, could you end up with a 5000$ bill overnight? Is there really any augmented reality app making 999$/month????

If this is the case then the SDK is not usable. Over 90% of the AR apps are below 999$/month.

I am looking for an alternative to Vuforia. I would even feel better with a flat fee like Metaio is offering. 

The new pricing plan from Qualcomm is totally insane.

 

Martin

Some clarifications regarding 'Recos' and Pricing Plans

February 25, 2015 - 11:53pm #18

Thank you for attempting to provide some answers.  

The FAQ you've linked answers only a few of our many serious concerns, unfortunately.  Here's some of the questions and concerns from the smaller agency/indie game/entrepreneur development community about this pricing structure that have not been addressed:

  1. Are offline recos (ie, non-cloud, device-level) counted towards the monthly quota?
  2. Is this pricing structure for a single application, or for all applications in a developer account?  (The FAQ is worded around a single app - hence the confusion...)
  3. If a user-defined reco occurs, does that count against monthly quotas?
  4. Is internet connectivity required to reco a target?  If not, will offline reco events 'tally up' and report back to update your quota when connectivity returns?  If not, how is this handled?
  5. Is there a way to opt out of overage service?  Ie, simply cease providing recos after quota is used up, rather than get hit with a huge bill if a download spike hits in the middle of the night before you can upgrade?
  6. Does the 'watermarked' plan truly get unlimited non-cloud repos?
  7. Is there no plan for those who don't want the cloud services at all and only want non-watermarked, device-level recos? (ie, most developers I've talked with)  Why not?  Might it be added soon?
  8. Is Qualcomm satisfied that these plans will cost between $2-5 per user for any consumer mobile app doing more than one-time novelty tracking?
  9. Are smaller developer shops, indie game developers, and entreprenuers (those who operate at high risk on tight budgets) expected to leave Vuforia for other options at this point?  These cannot limit their apps to 200 users, nor can pay ongoing high costs for simple device-level recos on free or cheap mobile apps.

Again, thanks for attempting to provide some answers.  I'm afraid many in the development community are feeling Vuforia just put themselves far, far out of reach of most developers.  Even those of us willing to pay comparable rates to Vuforia's competitors are unable to operate in such unrealistic pricing plans.  Under these plans, we feel like we incur a lot of risk upfront by using this SDK.  If a handful of our users use any app for an extended period of time, the quotas are used up quickly, with very little ROI to us.  On the flip side, if we get picked up by a news outlet, we'll owe thousands or tens of thousands of dollars from overages and increased quotas.  Not many mobile apps sell for $10...

Any light you can shed on these issues would be appreciated.

Some clarifications regarding 'Recos' and Pricing Plans

February 25, 2015 - 11:26pm #17

Please refer to the following FAQ that should answer your questions:

https://developer.vuforia.com/library/articles/FAQ/Usage

 

Some clarifications regarding 'Recos' and Pricing Plans

February 25, 2015 - 11:21pm #16

Hi Brad - Please contact the Sales team via https://developer.vuforia.com/platinum-inquiry. 

 

Some clarifications regarding 'Recos' and Pricing Plans

February 25, 2015 - 4:43pm #15

It looks like Vuforia will be focusing on Fortune 500 companies moving forward, which is probably what we should expect from a large company like Qualcomm.  This is not a startup like Metaio or PointCloud.  There are ROIs to meet, and pressure from the top to make it profitable.  

Their market research team on this pricing strategy looks like they've decided to drop the indie developer/small agency/entrepreneur demographic.  If that is unintentionally, then maybe they assumed the watermark would be acceptable, or perhaps they falsely deduced that developers make more money on apps than they do.  Either way, the #1 AR SDK will unfortunately be reserved for developers with access to larger company budgets at this point.

This pricing strategy does not work for consumer mobile applications whose aim is to make money via the application.  At all. It does work for large companies pushing their app out to large audiences, because they can afford to pay a few grand a month for their marketing strategy.  AR experiences are, for them, only a part of their larger marketing plan, and don't need to turn a profit from the experience itself.  Requiring $5/user ROI on an app just to pay off the AR SDK is ... literally laughable.

Now, if they did want to recapture the smaller agencies and indie developers, a more reasonable pricepoint would be something like:

  • $99-$499 / yr. for unlimited offline 'recos' (Sure, limit your cloud services.  Most indie dev's are basically looking for a glorified OpenCV plugin.)
  • OR a one time charge like Metaio for a developer account (I would personally pay in the thousands for this).
  • They could continue to charge monthly for 'cloud' recos, but it should be in the ballpark of $50-$200/50,000 cloud recos.
  • Remove the ridiculous 'overages' - it's an appalling money-grab.  It alienates everyone.  I'd rather just get an email at 75% quota use and be warned that it'll stop returning results soon unless I upgrade.  At least give the option to opt out of overages.  Geeze.  Surely someone at Qualcomm has made a mobile app and understood what 'virality' is.  Download spikes (even from countries in timezones while you sleep) are a fact of life in mobile dev.

Again, Qualcomm doesn't want to do this, in all likelihood.  They don't make enough ROI on the SDK from it. 

As is, the core of this forum (and the majority of their current developer base) will likely be leaving within the next few weeks to find other alternatives.  They've 'bait and switched' the majority of their AR dev's.

If nothing changes on Qualcomm's pricing structure (and they ought to send someone in here pronto to clear some things up...) then I encourage the community to look into OpenCV alternatives (perhaps AR Toolkit) and combine our efforts to get a solid open source AR SDK up and running.  OpenCV has taken us pretty far, and Unity can do the rest.  Most of us don't need 'Smart Terrain' or Vuforia's other features - we need simple coordinate locking based on a marker, then SLAM from that point forward to keep the enemy's gate down.  

Some clarifications regarding 'Recos' and Pricing Plans

February 25, 2015 - 4:30pm #14

IMO no per usage deal is acceptable at all, maybe if you are a super-mega-big company with lots of money and you want to waste it, but as a small company that makes projects around 10k€/20k€ tops (we've never did a 20k project but maybe one day)  this is completely insane, completely

Some clarifications regarding 'Recos' and Pricing Plans

February 25, 2015 - 4:28pm #13

I can't pay 99$/month  just to keep an app alive, an app that was a closed project with a closed budget, that is INSANE

 

In general lines all the pricing plans are insane, this is a non-sense at all, and make us unable to use Vuforia at all, and the worst part is that we can't even give support to our current apps because Vuforia3 will never be 64 bit, so we will never be able to update or fix bugs in our current apps because apple will reject this.

 

Really this is completely insane :P

 

EDIT: A watermark will be unacceptable for any client, maybe a forced splash screen could be an option, but a watermark... that is impossible for any client :P and here I'm talking about the free plan, the paid plans are completely insane and out of range at all.

 

EDIT2: If in the free plan there is a limit fior recos too, then disgregard what I said about a splash screen, this is insane, completely insane, no per-usage deal is acceptable at all

Some clarifications regarding 'Recos' and Pricing Plans

February 25, 2015 - 4:26pm #12

I predict... (Crisswell for a day)

Qualcomm would have realized that bringing in usage charges would be violently opposed and create a fuss. So, bring in high charges - then tell developers they've rethought the pricing model, then bring in lower prices. They will be monitoring this thread to see both the strength of developer unease, and also how long this unease lasts. They DO need to have an indie license that's NOT tied to usage, e.g. if the app's free, then no license fee.

Some clarifications regarding 'Recos' and Pricing Plans

February 25, 2015 - 4:17pm #11

According to the new developer agreement, a "recognition" is defined as follows:

1.15.  Recognition” or “recognition” or “reco” is a transaction event that is registered by the Software when any Target is recognized successfully as reported by QCE’s system.

This implies local recognitions, as well as cloud recognitions...which means the limitations for the free, developer license could be exceeded in only a couple days of testing. If this is what Qualcomm intends (and someone from Qualcomm needs to get on these forums quickly), then these limitations are insane beyond imagination.

Some clarifications regarding 'Recos' and Pricing Plans

February 25, 2015 - 3:55pm #10

giovannilandi wrote:

black_ridge wrote:

(it doesn't say the $99 covers only one app)

 I fear it is really 99$/ month per deployed app...

Then if it is per app (crazy at $99 per app per month) then people wil migrate to others that offer a flat fee for unlimited apps.

Some clarifications regarding 'Recos' and Pricing Plans

February 25, 2015 - 3:41pm #9

black_ridge wrote:

(it doesn't say the $99 covers only one app)

 I fear it is really 99$/ month per deployed app...

 

Some clarifications regarding 'Recos' and Pricing Plans

February 25, 2015 - 3:32pm #8

giovannilandi wrote:

They will try to answer us indies that we will still able to deploy our apps for free with a small watermark promoting Vuforia...

suddenly many clients won't accept it...

Exactly. None of my clients (or even using in our own in-house apps) will allow want a watermark on the camera screen, but they also will not want to pay 'reco' fees when they are not using cloud recognition functionality, only frame markers and locally store target images.

Now if Vuforia say that 'recos' are just relating to cloud recognition and triggering that content, and there will be no fees for 'offline triggering' of frame markers and image targets then I can probably deal with the $99 a month when that is spanned across multiple projects (it doesn't say the $99 covers only one app), but no client will pay monthly fees for 'offline recognition' of frame markers etc. when Metaio offer a flat licence fee and allow unlimited 'offline triggers'.

Some clarifications regarding 'Recos' and Pricing Plans

February 25, 2015 - 3:25pm #7

They will try to answer us indies that we will still able to deploy our apps for free with a small watermark promoting Vuforia...

suddenly many clients won't accept it...

Some clarifications regarding 'Recos' and Pricing Plans

February 25, 2015 - 3:18pm #6

It's crazy! And unfair! I'm leaving Vuforia!

It's been a long love story that gave me lots of AR satisfactions and an Auggie Award but it's over now...

maybe I'm paranoid, but did you think about the possibility of companies making "reco spam" to charge competitors apps with overage recos?!?

it's possible now!!!

My competitors will never be so patient but the fact is that it's feasable!!!

(Or please tell me that I misunderstood the plans.. And it's all a bad dream!)

bye bye Vuforia!

Giovanni Landi

(Winner of the 2013AWE Auggie Award for the Best AR marketing campaign with an indie project proudly crafted with Vuforia.)

 

 

Some clarifications regarding 'Recos' and Pricing Plans

February 25, 2015 - 3:16pm #5

I too am worried about the new pricing plans.  I have a AR book that is currently on Kickstarter.  Like others my book only uses local targets.  I do not have an interest in cloud recos, and a cap on recos could severly cost me.  Any clarification would be super helpful, as what was an exciting Kickstarter now has me super worried about future day one and future costs.

My main questions are:

- Is there a cap on local recos?

- Is there a cost for local recos?

- Is an internet connection going to be required?  <-- In my case this would be detrimental.

Here's a link to said Kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1223734313/goodnight-lad-augmented-reality-childrens-book

Thanks,
Brad

Some clarifications regarding 'Recos' and Pricing Plans

February 25, 2015 - 3:10pm #4

I'm very confused by the pricing system as well. If you deploy an app and it goes viral, say 10000 downloads and 100000 recos, could you end up with a 5000$ bill overnight? Is there really any augmented reality app making 999$/month????

Some clarifications regarding 'Recos' and Pricing Plans

February 25, 2015 - 3:08pm #3

Wanted to add to this - I was waiting for 4.0 production release before embarking on a project, but won't now. The pricing plans are insane - I guess the Vuforia team is under pressure to show an ROI, but, for example, a Platinum license (whose price isn't even provided because it would scare people) is required for an enterprise app? Really? Because all Enterprise environments are Fortune 500 and well funded?

Some clarifications regarding 'Recos' and Pricing Plans

February 25, 2015 - 2:44pm #2

I too, do not understand these 'recos' that are mentioned.

Our apps only using local (on the device) images and frame markers, we don't use cloud recognition whatsoever.

Under the new plans are we to assume that even when triggering frame markers (which utilise no resources from Qualcomm servers) we will also have to pay a monthly fee to use the Vuforia system or be stuck with a watermark if we don't?

I understand wanting to charge for cloud recognition as that is using Qualcomm servers and data, but why charge a monthly fee for apps that only use frame markers and locally stored image databases?

We need some clarification on this and I would suggest another usage tier where developers can use the Vuforia system for free if they are only using the frame markers and images stored locally on the device. If you are even going to charge 'reco' fees for apps that only trigger from frame markers and locally stored image targets then you'll be killing off a lot of indie developers and their apps.

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