Search form

Getting Started

Vuforia is a software platform that allows your applications to see. Developers can add advanced computer vision functionality very easily to any application enabling the app to recognize images and objects in the real world. Whether you are building an interactive marketing campaign, a game or a great product visualization experience to enable shopping experiences, Vuforia has the features and performance to meet your needs. Key features include the ability to recognize and track Images, Objects, Text, Markers and Environments.


Vuforia’s recognition and tracking capabilities can be applied to a variety of images and objects made up of planar surfaces.

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 other arbitrary arrangements 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.

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

Vuforia also 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 the physics of objects and surfaces in the real world.

Vuforia can recognize and track words.

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

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, is an Android app that helps you easily scan 3D objects into a 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)

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 Services

Vuforia also provides a Cloud Recognition Service when your app needs to recognize over a 100 images. 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.

SDKs for Mobile and Digital Eyewear

Vuforia supports phones & tablets and binocular Digital Eyewear (or Head Mounted Displays). Accordingly, there are two different SDKs for each class of devices – Vuforia SDK for Mobile and Vuforia SDK for Digital Eyewear (currently available through the Early Access Program) – that you can use to build amazing experiences.

Developer Support

There are over 125,000 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 Getting Started, Guides and How-To articles allows developers to not only learn about key Vuforia features, but 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.

1. Installing the Unity Extension
2. Compiling 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 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 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 SDK.

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