BRISTOL, England, January 5, 2016 – Kudan are the world’s first Augmented Reality software provider to launch SLAM tracking on native platforms and Unity 3D.
Until today, no SLAM AR capability existed for AR developers using the enormously popular Unity 3D development platform. Now, the Unity developer community, who’ve been instrumental in the growth of the AR market, can quickly integrate this next-generation capability into their apps using the brand new Kudan AR Unity Plugin.
The ability to position digital content anywhere, without the need for a graphic trigger, means that AR apps can be more versatile and contextual. This marks one of the major evolutionary steps in the Augmented Reality market.
Uniquely, Kudan’s SLAM initializes immediately, without the need for the pre-registration of the environment to be tracked; Thus solving one of the major barriers to entry of the practical usage of SLAM for Augmented Reality. It functions well in low-feature environments, such as a desk surface, and also in difficult lighting conditions. The ability to visualize 3D objects in real-world scale opens up new possibilities for a wide-range of applications.
The plugin is available to download as of today and provides Unity developers with professional Computer Vision capabilities via a simple GUI, rendering the need for specialist knowledge or complex programming obsolete.
Unity support for SLAM is a major milestone, not only for Kudan, but the wider AR community. Howard Ogden, Chief Evangelist at Kudan says, “With environment tracking it’s possible to create AR apps that people can use on a whim, effortlessly, whether they’re out on the street, in the park, or even in a plane without a data connection. It will change the way we think about AR. Just as image recognition superseded location based AR, SLAM will provide the next step forward for the industry.”
The Unity 3D SLAM package is available to download from https://www.kudan.eu/
In the last twelve months two European startups with mobile SLAM technologies have been acquired. Their software was removed from the marketplace leaving developers with no alternatives.
Swedish company 13th Lab, who developed an SDK called Pointcloud, have been purchased by Facebook Inc. They plan to use their knowledge in the Oculus Rift division.
German AR company Metaio GmbH were purchased by Apple Inc, shortly after announcing a SLAM capability in their SDK. This has helped fuel the speculation that 2016 is the year Apple will make an aggressive push into the AR/VR space.
Unlike Kudan, both Pointcloud and Metaio SDKs required pre-registration of the environment before displaying AR content.
Kudan AR Engine
The Kudan Engine supports a wide range of devices on multiple platforms, including native iOS & Android SDKs and Windows powered devices.
The SDK has a very small footprint, meaning that devices with limited storage space can benefit from the lightweight SDK. It is also highly modular, and portable, written in a platform agnostic code base (C++). This means the Kudan AR Engine is ready to run on any device with a camera, including smart phones, smart glasses, head mounted devices (HMD), robots and robotic devices, Machine Vision and Internet of Things (IoT) sensors.
The AR Engine with SLAM is available to developers worldwide via the Kudan website.