Unity promises to deliver on the potential of AR with Project MARS - Mixed and Augmented Reality Studio.
MARS was announced at Unite Berlin, and is Unity’s attempt to create AR experiences “with little to no custom coding.” The extension will let developers create applications that intelligently interact with the real world.
“The motto for this project is reality is our build target,” said Unity in a blog post detailing the project. “We don’t want you to think about building to a console or phone – we want you to start thinking about how you can create experiences that truly take advantage of the real world.”
Project MARS contains abstract layer for useful data sources, like object recognition, and location and map data. Unity will also provide sets of templates with simulated rooms, letting developers test against different environments inside the editor.
The challenges of AR development are miles removed from standard games design, and Unity seems committed to helping developers bridge that cap,
“Instead of having a level designer build your entire world from scratch, your level design is the real world. MARS will help you solve this challenge, enabling you to easily create AR experiences, from face masks, to avatars, to entire rooms of digital art. We cannot wait to see what you create.”
Project MARS will come to Unity as an experimental package later this year.
For developers interested in putting more naturalised animations into their AR experiences, Unity’s new Kinematika system aims to make that seamless and simple. Of course, the engine developer’s commitment to double down on mobile ties in with this increased focus on AR.