Augmented Reality Software

The Best 7 Free and Open Source Augmented Reality Software

The Best 7 Free and Open Source Augmented Reality Software

From healthcare and education to gaming and entertainment, every industry has experienced transformation due to augmented reality technology. Consistently, there is a growing demand for quality AR experiences on smartphones and other devices. Hardly will you find any person who is not familiar with augmented reality (AR) technology in this digital world. 

Brands are employing augmented reality technology in their businesses, which in turn provides the brand with new user experience. The augmented reality technology is implemented by the companies to create product demos and interactive advertising. This technology provides real-time information to customers. Whenever people get in touch with any of the products, then they can form emotional bonding which in turn creates more opportunities to buy the product.

What is augmented reality software?

Augmented reality is the application that helps in producing computer-generated objects to virtually offer a composite view to the users.  Its application covers all areas from aviation to gaming environments. This technology is widely employed by the retail industry to assist consumers virtually before that product is brought.

This technology mostly incorporates digital visual content and, at times, audio, too, in the user’s real-world environment. Several industries including; healthcare, gas and oil, public safety, tourism, and marketing, etc., have been extensively using the AR software technique

The most common type of AR app is augmented reality gaming software. Some popular uses of AR software are Nintendo's Poke’mon Go app, Google Pixel’s Star Wars Stickers, Disney Coloring Book, L’Ore’al Makeup app.

AR software

What are the critical features of augmented reality software?

The key features of AR technology are as follows:

  • Drag-and-drop-The users can select a virtual object by taking hold of it and then drag it to another location. 
  • Editing- The users can edit the 3D model that they have uploaded into the platform. The users can incorporate any additional details required. They can scale the image and adjust the color.
  • Simulation – For training and educational purposes, AR technology can imitate certain conditions or environments.
  • Real-world backdrop- The augmented reality software can overlay images, texts, and 3D objects against a real-world background.
  • Hardware integration – The AR software must integrate with the devices that help in the smooth functioning of the software. It will assist in providing the intended AR experience to the consumer. This comprises glasses, android, tablets, and Apple mobile phones. 
  • Superimposed objects- The AR device, such as a headset or smart glasses, are used to imitate certain conditions or environments. 
  • Cross-device publishing – The AR technology enables users to deploy AR across multiple devices such as mobile devices and VR glasses.
  • Content Creation – The augmented reality software allows everyday users to create their AR content and experiences.
  • Analytics- Some augmented reality tools provide analytics capabilities for users. It allows businesses to see how consumers interact with the 3D object within AR mobile applications. 
  • Upload Content – Users can upload 3D content for their specific business purposes with the help of AR software products. For example, the AR training simulators upload 3D content that helps trainees to learn the job at hand. 

The developers can create their augmented reality apps with the help of a software development kit (SDK) that should offer the indispensable features. 

Some general features that should be considered in an AR SDK are: 

  • 3D Object Tracking – The 3D object tracking enables developers to develop apps where three-dimensional objects can be used as AR makers. 
  • SLAM (Simultaneous Localization and Mapping) Support- This feature allows users to view the object from multiple angles, move closer or farther from it. The augmented reality app identifies where the object is in a given space so that the AR image could remain superimposed over it.
  • Smart Glasses support – The developers use an AR SDK that supports smart glasses and other types of wearable technologies. 
  • Geolocation – The development teams working on location-based apps require the feature of geolocation to insert different virtual reality images into the user’s view of the world based on their current location. For example, this feature is found in the game Pokemon Go.
  • Cloud storage – With cloud-based storage functionality, the developers can create apps that provide users with a wide variety of experiences. 

AR software

What is the role of augmented reality software in business?

The common goal of all companies is to get customers to employ their services or buy their products. To accomplish this goal, businesses educate users about their products. The businesses engage themselves with potential clients and make long-term connections for future commerce. 

Augmented reality (AR) has the potential to satisfy all the businesses' requirements since its framework is exceptionally intuitive, and it blends the digital elements with the real-life environment. Companies utilize AR in mobile apps, websites, and much more. 

The uses of augmented reality software are abundant. Here, we will discuss the five prominent industries that make use of AR technology.

  • Commerce and Retail – AR software has innumerable opportunities in the retail sector. This technology can be used in-store or out-of-store. In-store experience allows the customer to interact with AR within the walls of the store. It can be virtual fitting rooms that assist customers in deciding the size or color of a product. In out-of-store experience, the customers don’t have to leave their homes to gain the experience. The customers can virtually try the product and can pick the appealing piece. It fills the shopping experience with fun and efficiency.
  • Real Estate - The AR technology has a lot to offer for real estate as the internet is the number one place where buyers and renters look for new homes. This technology helps in saving time of both clients and realtors as it helps in filtering the homes as per choices. The construction workers use AR software to bring the blueprints and images to the clients so that they can see how their prospective new home might look.
  • Education and training – In teaching and learning processes, the AR technology has unlimited possibilities. It provides a unique cognition path with immersive real-life situations. Without injuring patients, medical students can try their first surgeries. The astronauts can get ready for the next space mission. The AR technology can provide authentic psychological and physical experience and give a genuine virtual experience that can be applied in real life.
  • Tourism and Maps- AR technology plays a vital role in the tourism sector too. Many countries create engaging shows and draw tourists with the help of AR software. The cities and hotels are navigated and explored with the help of street signs and road maps. Museums can provide more in-depth information about the exhibits to tourism with the help of augmented reality software.
  • Dating Industry- AR technology is used in dating apps in which the user can log in by using social networks. The user can fill out their profile and can start their search. The user can scan their surroundings to find app users and a dating prospect with AR software.
  • Military area - In the military field, the AR technology helps soldiers to prepare for battle, dispose of bombs, and other types of explosive elements by creating situational guidance. The AR software enhances the skills of the soldiers to use different types of weapons and to visually identify the applications.
  • Entertainment- The AR software has touched the subdomains of the entertainment industry, be it music, live events, or movies. Media experts can enhance the effectiveness of multimedia, games, videos, and presentations with the help of AR software which in turn helps in building a better impression.
  • Healthcare – AR technology helps in understanding the symptoms of the patient. This technology can show an impact of cataract on the human eye. The AR software helps nurses in finding the veins quickly and also assists surgeons during procedures. 
  • Manufacturing –In real-time, the project managers can monitor the work progress through AR markers on equipment. AR software uses digital maps and plants that help in saving a lot of time. In the factory, the building processes can be facilitated and accelerated with the help of this technology. Augmented Reality Software

What are the benefits of augmented reality software?

In the modern era, augmented reality technology is widely used. It provides the framework through which better outcomes of visualization can be achieved, so it is considered advantageous for domestic as well as international organizations. This technology offers several benefits in the business sector, hospitality sector, education sector, commercial, entertainment, and much more:

  • Improved Information – The user gets additional information on the product, space, and material in real-time with AR software's help. The consumer can gain valuable information regarding the product’s characteristics, use, and availability.
  • Increases sales – In e-commerce or online shopping, it becomes easy to visualize the object in its useful form before the final purchase. AR software can add value to the procurement process. On the commercial site, the AR technology provides an attractive design module that increases the interaction between the user and the vendor.
  • Real-world experience – AR technology helps in enhancing the perceptions and interactions with the real world. In less time, the user can improve his practical world experience.
  • Effective Content- AR software performs numerous processes that help in producing improved content modules on the commercial site that allows intended users to take advantage in a synchronized manner.
  • Nurture learning process – In the education field, the AR software helps nurture the learning process and increases student participation in classes. The students’ interaction and engagement in the study increase with the help of AR technology. It enriches the way of learning.
  • Game changer for disabled – AR technology is a game-changer for the people experiencing significant disabilities. It can significantly improve the issue of lack of independence among disabled persons in day-to-day affairs. Disabled people can make use of GPS and smart technology in shopping. With an AR smartphone, these people can get details of the product. The AR smart glasses provide detailed information about the product to the shoppers who are unable to move their hands.
  • Social Media – The users can bring updates into life with the help of catchy AR filters. In the form of AR stories, 360-degree videos, AR-focused ads, and AR games, the AR software offers brands an opportunity to deliver an immersive experience to their target user base. For example, social networking platforms like Facebook, Tik Tok, and Snapchat allow users to add AR features to their content and enable them to share with their app fellows. 

AR Software

After knowing the importance of AR software, let’s discuss the first-rate quality augmented reality application that can seamlessly meet your business demands. 

If you are into small business and have a low budget cost, then the apt option is to pick the free AR software. There is also the option to have open source augmented reality software that allows users to customize the codes. 

This article presents the list of best free and open-source augmented reality software that covers each AR software's core functionalities. Without further ado, let’s discuss the top free AR software along with the comparison chart of free and open source augmented reality software.

comparison  chart of AR software

Free and Open source Augmented Reality Software

1 ARToolKit+ (free and open source) 

ARToolKit+ is the open source AR software that helps solve the fundamental problems in augmented reality that includes geometric and photometric registration. The  ARToolkit+ is the collection of software tools that provides impressive results to the users. This free augmented reality software makes use of scalable AR solutions to solve real-world issues.

ArtToolKit+

(Source: ARToolKit+)

Core functionalities:

  • Modular open source code
  • Mobile focus on secure development
  • Smart glasses
  • Android and iOS support
  • Content Creation
  • Content library
  • Simulation
  • Drag-and-drop
  • Superimposed Objects
  • Virtual Reality Integration

2 Mixare (free and open source) 

Mixare is the open source augmented reality browser that works as a completely autonomous application. This free AR software is available for android and the iPhone 3GS. It is published under GPLv3 and is also available for the development of its implementations. 

Mixare

(Source: Mixare)

Core functionalities:

  • Simulation
  • Virtual Reality Integration 
  • Drag-and-drop
  • Content Creation 
  • Content Library

3 Holokit (open source) 

Holokit is one of the top open source augmented reality software that makes use of mobile devices. The software includes the HeadKit cardboard headset and TrackKit software. HoloKit provides access to the world of mixed reality with the help of smartphones and mixed reality apps. It provides an immersive solution to the users.

Holokit(Source: Holokit)

Core functionalities:

  • Virtual Reality Integration
  • Superimposed Objects
  • Real-World Backdrop
  • 3D Objects
  • Content Creation
  • 76-degree diagonal field of view
  • Inside-out tracking function
  • Merges real and the virtual

4 BRIO (free) 

If you are looking for the best free AR software, then you can try BRIO that has the capability to inspire the audience. In the browser, this software supports ray tracing. There is a selection of materials and textures in the BRIO materials library, which the users can apply to the models. It is easy to share the BRIO scene online.

BRIO(Source: BRIO)

Core functionalities:

  • Drag-and-drop interface
  • Multiple file format support
  • Virtual Reality Integration
  • 3D Objects
  • Content Creation 
  • Cross-Device Publishing
  • Content Library
  • Real-World Backdrop
  • Simulation
  • Tracking and analytics
  • Superimposed Objects

5 Adobe Aero (free) 

Adobe Aero is a free augmented reality software that can view, build, and share immersive and interactive AR experiences. The user does not require complex coding and can effortlessly blur the lines between the physical and digital worlds. The software provides engaging AR experiences quickly and easily.

   Adobe Aero(Source: Adobe Aero)

Core functionalities:

  • Add interactive elements
  • Set pathways for animations
  • Content Creation
  • Content Library
  • Simulation
  • Tracking and Analytics
  • Virtual Reality Integration
  • Drag-and-drop
  • Cross-Device Publishing

6 Vuforia Engine (free) 

Vuforgia Engine is the free AR software that is used by companies of all sizes. It is considered one of the top free AR software solutions that can drive better outcomes. Across all leading platforms, Vuforia Engine supports AR devices like phones, tablets, and headsets to reach the most massive audience.

 Vuforia  Engine             (Source: Vuforia Engine)

Core functionalities:

  • Simulation
  • Unparalleled Accuracy
  • Virtual Reality Integration
  • Superimposed Objects
  • 3D Objects
  • Creative Empowerment
  • Content Creation 
  • Content Library
  • Real-World Backdrop
  • Advanced Vision
  • Tracking and analytics
  • Maximum Reach
  • Drag-and-drop

7 ZapWorks Studio (30 days free trial) 

ZapWorks Studio serves as the complete augmented reality toolkit for agencies and businesses. The software provides a powerful AR toolkit for companies who prefer to push the boundaries of creativity and storytelling. With this software, the user can quickly build, publish, analyze, and scale immersive AR experiences. The designers and developers can make fully-customizable AR experiences across print, product, packaging, retail, and events.

 zapworks

(Source: ZapWorks Studio)


Core functionalities:

  • Impactful marketing campaigns
  • Interactive product visualizations
  • Cross-Device Publishing
  • Drag-and-drop
  • Real-World Backdrop
  • Superimposed Objects
  • Virtual Reality Integration
  • Tracking & Analytics
  • 3D Objects
  • Content Creation 
  • Content Library
  • World Tracking 
  • Immersive video
  • Custom Graphical user interfaces

Apart from the list mentioned above of high-quality free and open source augmented reality software, there is also one more AR software that is gaining popularity – Augment., although it is neither free nor open source. The Augment software has the capability to provide promising results to its users.

Augment (popular) 

Augment software serves as the platform for 3D and augmented reality product visualization. This software can quickly deploy mobile augmented reality solutions for eCommerce, field sales, education, and much more. This well-known software provides right from 3D content to optimized AR experiences to the users. If you want to empower your business with AR and 3D, this software offers a 14 days free trial.

Augment

(Source: Augment)

Core functionalities:

  • 3D Objects
  • Superimposed Objects
  • Tracking and analytics
  • Drive field sales
  • Virtual Reality Integration
  • Content Creation
  • Cross-Device Publishing
  • Increases eCommerce sales and engagement 
  • Simulation
  • Content Library
  • Drag-and-Drop
  • Real-world Backdrop

Wrapping up 

The augmented reality software works in combination with devices like tablets, headsets, mobile phones, and much more. The global augmented reality software market which accounted for USD 333.8 billion is growing at a CAGR of 58.20% during the period between 2019 to 2026.

With the help of AR technology, the architects, marketers, educators, and game developers can view the digital interactive content like images, books, buildings, and media objects in a real-world context. It is a blessing for business as it helps in providing product views and can efficiently enhance the audience.

The list of top-level quality free and open source augmented reality software in this article provides promising results to the users. If there is a preference for more advanced features of augmented reality software, then try PaleBlue, Artivive, Layar, InfinityAR, 360 Immersive. In case you have ever come across any of the above mentioned free and open source AR software, then feel free to share your valuable views on the same. You can also explore the GoodFirms platform where you will get the list of best augmented reality software. 

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Andrea Hernanadez
Andrea Hernanadez

Andrea Hernandez is a tech blogger and content marketing expert. She writes about disruptive tech trends counting blockchain, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things. Presently, as a senior writer, she is associated with GoodFirms, a pioneering B2B research, review, and rating platform. Follow her on social media for valuable information on the software.

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