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Table of contents
Platform Support
Installing AR Foundation
AR Foundation Architecture
Frequently asked questions
How do we test Unity’s AR Foundation?
Does AR foundation work on Windows?
Which is more profitable, AR Foundation or Vuforia?
What is an AR session in Unity?
How does the AR foundation work?
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024

Unity's AR Foundation Framework

Author Tanay Kumar
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AR (Augmented Reality) is one of the fastest-growing technologies in today’s software enterprise. Multiple applications use AR technology to simulate makeup, camera filters, and stage effects. Unfortunately, if we want to construct an AR application for iOS and Android devices, we ought to use both SDKs, which doubles our growth efforts. 

To smash this issue, Unity has a convenient library called AR Foundation. This library can assist us in creating your AR application for iOS and Android with a single codebase. AR Foundation permits us to work with augmented reality platforms in a multi-platform way within Unity.

Platform Support

Unity’s AR Foundation does not execute any AR features itself but, instead, portrays a multi-platform API that permits you to perform with functionality familiar to numerous platforms.

Feature Support Per Platform

You can direct to this table to understand which features of Unity’s AR Foundation are suitable on specific platforms:




Magic Leap


2D Image tracking Yes Yes No No
Device tracking Yes Yes Yes Yes
Meshing No No Yes Yes
Plane tracking Yes Yes Yes No
Face tracking Yes Yes No No
Point clouds Yes Yes No No
Environment probes Yes Yes No No
Anchors Yes Yes Yes Yes
Light estimation Yes Yes No No
Raycast Yes Yes Yes No
Session managemant Yes Yes Yes Yes
Pass-through video Yes Yes No No

Supported Platform Packages

The following platform packages and later execute the AR Foundation features shown above:

Package Name Version
ARKit XR Plug-in 4.2
Magic Leap XR Plug-in 6.0
ARCore XR Plug-in 4.2
ARKit Face Tracking 4.2
Windows XR Plug-in 5.0
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Installing AR Foundation

To install this package, pursue the instructions in the Package Manager documentation.

Subsystems are executed in other packages. To employ AR Foundation, we must also install at least one of these platform-specific AR packages from the Package Manager window (menu: Window > Package Manager):

  • Windows XR Plug-in
  • Magic Leap XR Plug-in
  • ARCore XR Plug-in
  • ARKit XR Plug-in

AR Foundation Architecture

The two core parts of the AR Foundation architecture are:-

  1. AR Components
  2. AR Subsystem


AR Foundation Architecture


  • AR Subsystem
    The AR subsystem is the moderator between Unity and the Native AR SDK modules. Every subsystem supplies different features.

AR Subsystem


The subsystems only describe procedure interfaces; they don’t contain any execution details. The precise performance details are documented in various device-specific XR plugins, such as the ARKIT XR Plugin for iOS and the ARCore XR Plugin for Android. Although you can utilize the subsystems to manage the native AR SDK, they’re not permanently easy to operate. AR components are considerably more developer-friendly.

  • AR Components
    Some of the components here are:-

a) ARPlaneManager: for externals, detection

b) ARSession: for the lifecycle of the AR

c) ARRaycastManager: for witnessing user touch in the AR environment

Check out the blog Passion for AR & VR leads to Snake Snack Game to know more about Augmented reality. Now we will end this article with faqs.

Frequently asked questions

How do we test Unity’s AR Foundation?

After installation, we should install an AR Companion app to our AR device and operate our AR setting in Unity Editor. AR Companion will dispatch AR data back to the Editor, so we can test our project as if it is running on an existing device.

Does AR foundation work on Windows?

AR Foundation does not enforce any AR features but describes a multi-platform API that permits you to work with functionality familiar to numerous platforms.

Which is more profitable, AR Foundation or Vuforia?

The solution is clear regarding Vuforia vs. AR Foundation for manufacturing AR. The key is clear – Vuforia is the answer you need. AR Foundation is a better platform, but it's best for games and other lightweight solutions and won't have the mechanisms required for industrial needs.

What is an AR session in Unity?

The AR Session controls the lifecycle of an AR experience, allowing or undermining AR on the target platform. The AR Session can be on any GameObject. If the scene doesn't have an ARSession, the application will not be capable of tracking features in its conditions.

How does the AR foundation work?

AR Foundation permits you to work with augmented reality platforms in a multi-platform way within Unity. AR Foundation is a set of MonoBehaviour s and APIs for dealing with devices that sustain subsequent concepts: World tracking: track the device's position and orientation in physical space.


We hope that our blog enhances your knowledge regarding Unity’s AR Foundation Framework. 

After reading about Unity’s AR Foundation Framework, are you not feeling excited to read/explore more articles on the topic of Unity’s AR? Don't worry; Coding Ninjas has you covered. To learn, see Passion for AR & VR leads to Snake Snack GameApplications of ARAR in Education Industry, and AR in Gaming Industry

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