Search form

Getting Started

Vuforia is a software platform that enables applications to see. Developers can add advanced computer vision functionality very easily to any application allowing it to recognize images and objects in the real world.

Whether you are building an interactive marketing campaign, a game, a great product visualization experience to enable shopping experiences, or a hybrid AR/VR experience for digital eyewear, Vuforia has the all the functionality and performance to meet your needs.

Key features include the ability to recognize and track Images, Objects, Text, Markers and Environments. We’ve also added support for a new generation of both camera see-through and optical see-through digital eyewear devices.


Vuforia’s recognition and tracking capabilities can be used on a variety of images and objects.

Image Targets are flat images, such as print media and product packaging.

Multi-Targets are created using more than one Image Target and can be arranged into regular geometric shapes (e.g. boxes) or in any arbitrary arrangement of planar surfaces.

Cylinder Targets are images wrapped onto objects that are approximately cylindrical in shape ( e.g. beverage bottles, coffee cups, soda cans ).

Frame Markers provide 512 numerically encoded markers that can be used with any image. Markers may be small and you can detect and track several of them simultaneously.

Text Recognition enables you to develop apps that recognize words from a dictionary of ~100,000 English words.

Vuforia can recognize and track a wider range of 3D objects as well. Object Recognition enables Object Targets to be created by scanning physical objects. It allows you to create apps that recognize and track intricate rigid objects.

In addition to target recognition, Vuforia provides an awareness and understanding of the user's physical environment.

Smart Terrain is a breakthrough technology that can reconstruct the user’s physical environment as a 3D mesh. It enables developers to create a whole new class of games and realistic product visualization experiences, where the content can interact with physical objects and surfaces in the real world.

Platform Components

There are three main components to the Vuforia platform.

1. The Vuforia Engine
The Vuforia Engine is the client side library that is statically linked to your app. This is available through the client SDK and supports Android and iOS. You may use Eclipse, Xcode or Unity – the cross platform game engine – to build apps.

2. Tools
Vuforia provides tools for creating targets, managing target databases and securing application licenses.

The Vuforia Object Scanner (available for Android) helps you easily scan 3D objects into a target format that is compatible with the Vuforia Engine.

The Target Manager is a web app on the developer portal that allows you to create databases of targets for use on the device and the cloud (for large numbers of targets)

Developers building apps for optical see-through digital eyewear can make use of the Calibration App so an end-user can create a profile that suits his or her’s unique facial geometry and the Vuforia Engine can then use this profile to ensure that content is rendered in the right position.

All applications need a license key to work. The License Manager allows you to create and manage your license keys and associated service plans. Learn More

3. Cloud Recognition Service
Vuforia also offers a Cloud Recognition Service when your app needs to recognize over a 100 images or if the database is frequently updated. The Vuforia Web Services API allows you to manage these large image databases in the cloud efficiently and enables you to automate your workflows by direct integration into your content management systems.

Support for Digital Eyewear

Vuforia also supports leading digital eyewear devices. There are two classes of devices supported:

  1. Camera see-through devices – Samsung GearVR
  2. Optical see-through devices – ODG R-6, Epson BT-200
More devices will be added later. Support for digital eyewear is currently in beta.

Developer Support

There are over 140,000 developers in more than a 100 countries using Vuforia today. This thriving community interacts daily on the community Forums , where there are thousands of posts on a range of topics. A library of Guides, Best Practices and How-To articles enables developers to not only learn about key Vuforia features, but to also get valuable practical support for actual issues that developers had to deal with when building apps.

Getting Started

To start building with Vuforia, you will need to decide if you want to build with Java/C++ or with Unity. Unity is a powerful cross platform game engine with a powerful authoring interface that allows you to rapidly build applications. Getting Started with the Unity Extension

If you choose to go with your own rendering engine (or with direct OpenGL rendering), then please take a look at the Getting Started with the Android Native SDK and Getting Started with the iOS Native SDK

Unity Extension Setup

The Vuforia Extension for Unity allows developers to create AR applications and games easily using the Unity game engine. Developers need to get Unity Android and/or Unity iOS from Unity Technologies to use the Vuforia Extension. The Vuforia Extension is compatible with both Unity Standard and Unity Pro.

Visit the Unity website for further information about Unity and how to download it. Follow these steps to install the Vuforia Unity extension and to learn how to build a simple Unity project.

Getting Started with XCode (C++) on iOS

If you are an iOS developer and have already set up your iOS development environment, go directly to Step 2: Installing the Vuforia iOS SDK.

Note that iOS SDK 7.0 or above with XCode 6.0 or later is recommended for use with Vuforia.

If you are new to iOS software development, start at Step 1: Setting up the iOS Development Environment.

  1. Setting up the iOS Development Environment
  2. Installing the Vuforia iOS SDK
  3. Installing the Vuforia iOS Samples
  4. Compiling and Running a Vuforia iOS Sample App

Getting Started with Eclipse (Java/C++) on Android

If you are an Android developer and already have the Android SDK and NDK installed, go directly to Step 2: Installing the Vuforia Android SDK.

  1. Setting up the Android Development Environment
  2. Installing the Vuforia Android SDK
  3. Compiling and Running a Vuforia Android Sample App

Getting Started with Digital Eyewear

If you are familiar with Vuforia, then working with digital eyewear should be very familiar. All the APIs, tools and workflows are very similar. Get Started.