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Teaser

What is Unity MARS? What advantages does it offer? In the following article we want to go into more detail on the questions just mentioned and the basic functions of Unity MARS.

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A screenshot of Unity MARS, a plugin for creating AR applications using the Unity3D engine.

THE FUTURE OF AR DEVELOPMENT?

AR applications are made to be used in "real world" situations. Therefore, it is almost impossible to include all variables that a user might encounter. Unity MARS' great strength, however, is to simulate exactly these "real world situations". This allows developers to greatly simplify the prototyping phase without producing a lot of code.

A screenshot of the simulation view of Unity MARS, a tool for creating AR applications.

REAL WORLD SIMULATIONS

To address the problem of the endless possibilities of the real world, Unity MARS has the "Simulation View". This is equipped with a number of pre-installed templates that simulate the real world. The templates include kitchens, offices, museums and even a small city..

A screenshot showing how conditions are set in Unity MARS

INSERT OBJECTS

In order to have your own object appear in these simulations, various conditions must be met. These conditions can be entered as usual via the Unity Inspector. These include, for example, the minimum and maximum size of the surface on which the object is to appear later. Once these values have been defined, the object can appear at all locations in the simulations and real world. Provided that the entered conditions are met. This workflow makes it incredibly easy for developers to adapt projects to a wide variety of environments.

A screenshot showing the device view of Unity MARS. Unity MARS is a plugin for Unity3D for the development of AR applications.

AR-TESTING IN
UNITY EDITOR

Unity MARS gives developers the ability to test their AR apps while still in the Unity Editor. Previously, the app always had to be "built" for this. Since building and device testing significantly delays the development process, developers are very grateful for this feature. For this purpose, there is the so-called "Device View". It is comparable to the "Game View" in the vanilla Unity editor. As soon as the play button is pressed, the AR app can be tested. You can use the WASD keys and mouse to navigate in the virtual space and test the spawning of objects, for example.

ENORMOUS TIME SAVING

Anyone who has already developed AR apps knows the usual problems. There is an incredible amount to consider in order for the app to work properly. A separate build must be created and played on a device for each test procedure. Once these countless testing procedures have been gone through for a prototype, it can be proudly claimed that the prototype phase has been passed.

Unity MARS prevents exactly this problem. Thanks to the technology, developers can focus on the essentials. It is incredibly easy to insert objects, set conditions and test the project.

CONCLUSION

Any new product with new features, especially on this scale, needs some learning time at first. However, this time is very well invested. Especially when working on future AR projects should happen faster and easier. Furthermore, the improved workflow allows for many more iterations. These allow a higher quality of the app in less time.

Whoever wants to use Unity MARS can currently purchase a license for 50€ / month (or 600€ / year). Unity also offers a free 45-day trial period. This allows all AR developers to first convince themselves of the strong simplification. In the studio, we will use Unity MARS for AR projects in the future

An article from Brandon Drewes written on 25. 07 2020

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