Best Augmented Reality Software 2023: Top 7 Picks & Reviews

Bizreport - Bailey Schramm
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Reviewed by Kristina Knight, Journalist , BA
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Vuforia

Vuforia

Best Overall

5.0 stars - votes

ARKit

ARKit

Most Affordable

4.9 stars - votes

Wikitude

Wikitude

Easiest to Use

4.8 stars - votes
Best Augmented Reality Software

If the world of augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and AI is still foreign to you, you’re probably not alone. So if you’re just getting started exploring augmented reality experiences, read through this guide to find out the top argument reality software options that you can choose from for an optimal experience. 

7 Best Augmented Reality Software 2023

What is Augmented Reality Software?

Augmented reality software allows for augmented reality experiences in tablets, phones, and more. The software programs allow developers to create augmented reality applications that take computer-generated graphics and visuals and appear like they’re in a real-world environment when used in conjunction with augmented reality tools and hardware. 

How Do Augmented Reality Softwares Work?

Augmented reality SDKs work alongside AR headsets, a mobile device, smart glasses, tablets, and other hardware to create physical worlds based on computer renderings of such objects. Using sensors, animation software, and more, the best AR software programs can easily create AR experiences like video games. 

Vuforia

Vuforia

  • Widely-used by developers 
  • Supports scalable high-quality augmented reality environments
  • Can develop for free, and pay when you deploy
ARKit

ARKit

  • Good for location-based augmented reality experiences
  • Can track up to three faces at once
  • Depth API creates realistic virtual and augmented reality visuals
Wikitude

Wikitude

  • Easy to use drag and drop editor
  • Can edit even outside the AR environment
  • Wide gallery of items to select from
ARCore
  • Backed by major tech giants Google
  • Realistic looking images with ligh estimation feature
  • Great tool for collaboration on augmented reality projects
Kudan

Kudan

  • The platform supports markerless tracking
  • Works even on older devices
  • Available on both Android, Mac OS, and iOS devices
ARToolKit

ARToolKit

  • Easy plug-in with Unity game engine
  • Great video tracking feature
  • Great for projects of all sizes
SketchFab

SketchFab

  • 3D modeling capabilities support many different use cases
  • Great collaboration features
  • Easy to set up and get started

Top 7 Best Augmented Reality Software January 2023

Best Augmented Reality Software

Vuforia

Vuforia

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Read Vuforia Reviews

Vuforia is an AR solution that helps you create realistic digital objects for AR experiences given its top of the line features that allow you to track in real time. Other key features throughout the development process make it easy to use, and it’s even free throughout development until you deploy. 

  • Widely-used by developers creating an AR experience
  • Supports scalable high-quality augmented and virtual reality environments
  • Can develop for free, and pay when you deploy on an AR device or other smart devices
  • There can be delays when rendering an object for AR content
  • You may not get a lot of support on new features
  • Can take a while to recognize objects in the dark

Vuforia Engine is a good way to create high-quality AR experiences. Using computer vision and AI-powered tools, makers can track objects in real time for realistic renditions as virtual objects. 

Even though they don’t technically have a free version, you can develop on Vuforia Engine for free, and only pay once you deploy. Overall, users like Vuforia Engine because it’s a reliable software and an easy-to-use tool for scalable projects.

ARKit

ARKit

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Read ARKit Reviews

ARKit by Apple is a very good AR technology for using geolocation in augmented reality experiences. Recently, their motion-tracking and face-tracking abilities have gotten even more advanced, further blurring the lines between the physical and digital world.  

  • Good for location-based augmented reality experiences
  • Can track up to three faces at once
  • Depth API creates realistic virtual and augmented reality visuals
  • No free trial
  • Limited to only the recent iOS devices

ARKit helps developers create augmented reality experiences that are anchored to real-life businesses, landmarks, and even entire cities. 

This is a great way to create AR apps that want to showcase realistic graphics that are familiar to users from the physical world. Packages include well-known locations like some of the biggest cities from around the world and landmarks like Time Square and the London Eye.

Wikitude

Wikitude

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Read Wikitude Reviews

Wikitude, the AR development arm of Qualcomm, is one of the leading names in AR experiences for mobile devices. Their augmented reality software can be used on multiple devices, including mobile phones, smart glasses, and tablets. 

  • Easy to use drag and drop editor
  • Can edit even outside the AR environment
  • Wide gallery of items to select from
  • No free version
  • Prices may be out of reach for all developers

Wikitude is widely used and a well-developed augmented reality SDK (software development kit). Its core product, Wikitude AR SDK, and other products support thousands of different developers, apps, brands, and more to make their augmented reality apps come to life. 

ARCore

ARCore

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Read ARCore Review

Google’s ARCore is a fantastic option for a software program if you want to create an augmented reality experience. Given the backing by Google, it’s very well supported on a number of devices. 

  • Backed by major tech giants Google
  • Realistic looking images with light mobile estimation feature
  • Great tool for collaboration on augmented reality (AR) projects
  • Can take a while to scan real-life objects for the virtual world
  • Depth sensing isn’t as advanced as others

ARCore was created by Google as a response to Apple’s ARKit, an AR toolkit composed of many great features to help with AR app development. There are many different APIs that developers can access from the program, including using a mobile phone to sense surroundings and overlay them with digital content. 

It’s easy to use, and great for collaboration, and many users point out that it has the best light estimation feature compared to other such solutions.

Kudan

Kudan

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Read Kudan Reviews

Kudan is a great professional tool for those who create augmented reality experiences. The key features like markerless tracking and high-speed usage make it one of the top platforms available today. 

  • The platform supports markerless tracking
  • Works even on older devices
  • Available on both Android phones and iOS devices
  • This AR toolkit isn’t as user-friendly as other AR applications
  • Steeper learning curve to get started

Kudan is available with both Android and iOS devices, and users don’t even need the most recent devices, as Kudan is supported even on older models. 

The platform is particularly beneficial for those creating augmented reality experiences that are cross-platform. So, it’s supported not just by one operating system, which makes it a great way to develop AR apps that will be widely released on the market.

ARToolKit

ARToolKit

Read ARToolKit Reviews

ARToolKit is a tracking library for AR projects that creates realistic AR objects for apps. Users like it for the video tracking features which can monitor objects in real-time for even more realistic experiences.

  • Easy plug-in with Unity game engine
  • Great video tracking feature
  • Great for projects of all sizes
  • Loading times can be slow
  • Sometimes the picture quality could be better
  • Open-source nature can make it less stable than other cloud-based software

Many like ARToolKit as a way to track objects with its video tracking feature to render realistic-looking movements and objects in VR to improve customer satisfaction with the experience. It’s simple to use, as developers can place a black square or other plain image in front of the camera and overlay 3D objects and models on top.

SketchFab

SketchFab

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Read SketchFab Reviews

SketchFab is a great tool for building augmented reality apps with a team, and rendering 3D virtual objects. 

  • 3D modeling capabilities support many different use cases
  • Great collaboration features
  • Easy to set up and get started
  • Adding texture to 3D models can be challenging

The collaboration capabilities for SketchFab are what set the platform apart from others. It’s specially designed to help developers create an augmented reality app with 3D figures. Teams can collaborate on these projects together, which other AR tools don’t support. 

All operating systems are supported on SketchFab, so it’s become widely popular among professionals in the field. Plus, the configurator can easily be embedded with an HTML tag, so only the right people with the proper authorization can view the project before it’s ready for the public. 

Benefits of Using AR Software

There are many reasons why developers may want to use an AR software, aside from just gaming and entertainment. Let’s take a look at some of the uses of such programs. 

View of Product

Using an augumented reality software can allow users to see products from online stores in realistic 3D versions before actually purchasing it. This can show how the item would look in your home so you can make informed buying decisions. 

Training New Employees

Sales and marketing teams and other leadership roles may train new employees with AR, especially today given that remote work has become more popular. This gives you the chance to make training more hands-on and effective, even from a distance. 

Improve Work Performance

You can also use AR software to help improve work performance by giving employees better ways to train and prepare for real-life events before they occur. This may include sales role-playing with virtual avatars, hands-on experience with the company’s product or solution, and other use cases. 

How Much Does an AR Software Cost?

The cost for AR software can range from those that have a free version, to others that are on the much higher end like the Wikitude world browser app. In any case, you can expect to spend a few hundred dollars a year to get access to these software programs. 

Final Thoughts

Finding the right AR software to build AR experiences can be very important to developers. They need to find the ones that support the types of visuals they are trying to create, while also finding one that is affordable, like one that offers a free version. This is still a new field, so new platforms will continue to emerge, though the ones listed above continue to be the top choices in the industry today.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is mixed reality?

This refers to the blend of the physical and digital worlds, which is often what AR programs aim to capture.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Bizreport - Bailey Schramm
Bailey Schramm, BS
Finance Advisor
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Bailey Schramm is a writer based out of Jackson Hole, WY, primarily covering topics and trends in financial services, business, and the blockchain. With a background covering stock market developments for a major FinTech company, she now provides SEO and content strategy services to financial service companies and tech startups.

ABOUT THE REVIEWER

Kristina Knight-1
Kristina Knight, Journalist , BA
Content Writer & Editor
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Kristina Knight is a freelance writer with more than 15 years of experience writing on varied topics. Kristina’s focus for the past 10 years has been the small business, online marketing, and banking sectors, however, she keeps things interesting by writing about her experiences as an adoptive mom, parenting, and education issues. Kristina’s work has appeared with BizReport.com, NBC News, Soaps.com, DisasterNewsNetwork, and many more publications.

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  3. Wikitude Augmented Reality: the World’s Leading Cross-Platform AR SDK. Wikitude. Published 2019. Accessed January 12, 2023. https://www.wikitude.com/
  4. ARCore – Google Developers  |  Google Developers. Google Developers. Published 2019. Accessed January 12, 2023. https://developers.google.com/ar
  5. Augmented Reality — Tech at GSA. tech.gsa.gov. Accessed January 12, 2023. https://tech.gsa.gov/techradar/technologies/augmented-reality/