In this Instructable we will go step by step through the process of creating a simple augmented reality (AR) application for the Aryzon AR Headset. No coding or other experience is required. Though the app is fairly basic, it is a fun and easy way to get started playing with the possibilities of AR.
For more information about the Aryzon AR headset, visit:
Models used in this Instructable where downloaded from Google Poly from the following authors:
- Sled, snowman, tree with presents, cabin - by 14islands Lab under CC-BY license
- Other trees - by Poly by Google under CC-BY license
- Snowy ground - by me
Step 1: Download Unity 3D
From the following link, download the free, personal version of unity. This will the engine of our AR app.
Step 2: Install Unity 3D
When the installer opens, you are asked to choose which modules of unity you want to install. You'll need the following
- Unity itself - Pretty essential
- MonoDevelop - used for the debugger, there is no actual coding in this project
- Documentation - for the help system to properly function
- Android build support - this allows you to create android apps with your project, you can add any additional platforms that you would like to develop for, though this instructable only covers Android
- Vuforia Augmented Reality Support - Used for the actual AR tracking, necessary to place our 3D world on you desk.
Step 3: Create a (free) Account
You will need to create an account to use Unity 3D. This is free for personal use.
Step 4: Create Your Project
Now it's time for you to create your project. Give your app a nice name, and choose a location where you can easily find back any files that Unity will put there.
Step 5: Creating Your Scene
Unity will open with a empty scene already created. You can name this scene by saving it now.
Step 6: Download the Aryzon SDK
Aryzon has created an SDK that integrates in Unity through a unity package. You can download this SDK at the following link:
Step 7: Import the Aryzon SDK in Unity
Go to Assets>import package>custom package. Then select the Unitypackage of the SDK and import everything into your project.
Step 8: Open the Vuforia Demo Scene
You will now see a few new folders in project main folder. Go to Assets>Aryzon>Sample Scenes, and open the Vuforia tracking scene.
Step 9: Create a New Prefab
To save ourselves some trouble, we can create a prefab (a standard, copy-able component) from the 'ImageTarget' component, select-able in the hierarchy window.
Just drag the 'ImageTarget' component to the Assets>Aryzon>Prefabs, folder, like I've already done in the picture.
Step 10: Import Prefabs Into Scene
You can now use that same prefab folder to import the two most important components of the app: the AryzonVuforia component, and the imagetarget component. You can drag these from the prefab folder right into your scene.
Step 11: Delete the Cube
When you click on the ImageTarget component in your hierarchy window, you will notice that the cube on screen is a child to that component. This tells the engine where it should place the cube relative to the target.
This means that all models we want to show correctly in AR, need to be added to the scene as a child to the ImageTarget component.
We can now remove the cube, and replace it with more visually interesting stuff
Step 12: Create a Model Folder
In order to keep good track of everything we add to the scene, you may want to create a model folder in the project window. this folder will contain all the models we might want to add to the scene.
Step 13: Get (download) Models
We will now download some fun models for our scene, and put these in the model folder we just created. For this instructable, we will get these from google Poly. Google Poly is ideal, because it's models are optimized for good VR and AR performance.
When downloading a model, keep the following in mind
- The model must be simple (few textures, low polygon count), because your phone has limited resources
- Credit the author of the model (you will be prompted when this is necessary)
- When possible, download the file in the FBX format. OBJ will work to, but is a little harder to handle in Unity.
Step 14: Drag and Drop
You can place models in your scene by simply dragging them from the models folder and placing them in the scene window. Once placed, you can scale, rotate and drag them to where you want them to be positioned.
Remember: as we've previously stated, models placed in the scene should always be put in as a child of the ImageTarget component.
Step 15: Make It Snow
To really drive home the holiday spirit, you can add some snow. An easy way to do this is by using a particle emitter. In the hieracrhy window, go to create>effects>particle system. This will create a particle emitting object in your scene. It is best to play around in the inspector window, and find out what the best settings are for you (gentle snowfall, or maybe a blizzard). The settings in the image work pretty well for us.
Step 16: Switching the Platform
Before we can play the app on our android phone, we have to build it first. First, we must change some settings though. In menu bar, go to File>Build Settings. Select the Android platform and then press 'Switch Platform'.
Step 17: Change the Settings
In that same windows, now press the 'Player Settings' button. This will make all the settings of the platform appear in the inspector window. here you should do the following:
- Enter a (fictitious) company name
- Enter a product name (this will be the name of your app).
- in 'other settings', add the company and product name to the 'package name' field.
- Set a minimum API level. This should be the same version of android that your phone is running, or lower. The lower you go, the greater the compatibility with older devices, but you will also lose certain functions.
- Make sure 'Android TV compatibility' is unchecked. Having this checked will prevent Vuforia from working.
- Finally, in 'XR Settings', check 'Vuforia Augmented Reality'
Step 18: Obtaining Vuforia Key
For the AR tracking to work, you must first activate a Vuforia license (free for personal use).
- Create an account at
- Go to the License manager, and select 'Get Development Key'
- Here you enter the name you gave your app in the previous steps
- Copy the custom key that is generated to your clipboard
Step 19: Entering the Vuforia Key in Your Project
- In your scene hierarchy, select the 'ARCamera' component (under AryzonVuforia).
- In the inspector window, press the button at the bottom labeled ''Open Vuforia Configuration"
- The inspector window will now display the Vuforia configuration. Paste the license key you just copied to the 'App License Key' field.
Step 20: Acquiring the Android SDK
Finally, to build your app Unity needs the Android SDK to be present on your Computer. The easiest way to obtain this SDK in through Android Studio. Android studio can be downloaded (without acount!) from the following link:
Installing Android Studio will automatically put the Android SDK on your Computer.
Step 21: Build Time!
You can now build your AR app!
- Enter the build settings menu again (File>Build Settings), and press the 'build' button
- You can now enter a name for the APK (App Package). Note that this is just a filename, it will not influence the name of your app.
- Open the APK on your phone to install your very own AR app!
If your phone does not allow you to install apps from "Unknown sources", simply go to your phone's system settings, then go to the security options and check the "Unknown sources" box. For security, it is recommended to uncheck this box after you've installed the app.
Step 22: Enjoy Your Magical Christmas Decoration
Run the app, place your phone in the Aryzon AR headset and strap it to your face. You can place the included marker anywhere you want your Christmas decoration to brighten up your day! Next to your computer for example :D
Of course, you don't have to use Christmas themed models for your app. What about an aquarium, or a miniature Jurassic park?
I included a copy of the app build in this Instructable (DeskMagic), so you can check out the results before you attempt it yourself.
- Make your desk more homely
- Fill your hearth with warmth and holiday spirit
- Make you look really cool
Note that I only tested this on my old phone (Galaxy Note 3), so your mileage may vary.
Thanks for reading!