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Unity Announces Project MARS For Improved AR Development

During Unite Berlin keynote, new tools for AR development are revealed.

Augmented reality (AR) has become hot hot topic in recent months, with the release of Apple’s ARKit and the later release of ARCore by Google. To feed into the increased demand for AR apps and services, at the Unite Berlin developers conference new tools were unveiled specifically for the development of AR.

The new tools are being gathered together into a new extension for Unity called Project MARS, which stands for Mixed and Augmented Reality Studio. The aim of the new extension is to give developers to means to create new modern AR apps.

Timoni West, director of XR research at Unity Labs said during the keynote: “Our motto for this project: Reality is our build target. In other words, we don’t want you to just think about building to a device or building to a console. We want you to think about how you can make apps that actually live in the real world. Apps that work the way we want augmented reality to act — context aware, flexible, customizable, works in the space.”

Project MARS has been designed to allow developers to create fully-featured AR experiences without the need for customised coding. The extension provides a set of tools that lets developers draw spatial parameters such as proximity, plane size and distance relationships in a more intuitive way that coding them by hand.

“Before MARS, it would be almost impossible to set-up even these relatively simple set of conditions without coding,” said West. “With MARS, you can now create complicated, multi-plane experiences in augmented reality that work across a variety of spaces, and you don’t even have to leave your desk to check it out.”

Unity will also be introducing a new workflow for facial animation, called the Facial AR Remote Component, which lets creators capture high-quality live-action performances using the TrueDepth camera built into the iPhone X.

For further news on Unity in VR and AR, keep checking back with VRFocus.

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