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  • Unity has led the way with AR development as well. In fact, more than 90% of all AR applications for the Microsoft HoloLens have been made with Unity. So if the HoloLens is your device of choice, Unity is likely the way to go. It also supports mobile AR.
  • Unreal Engine also provides a rich, unified framework for building AR experiences for both iOS and Android handheld devices as well as Magic Leap.
  • ARCore is Google's platform for building AR experiences on Android and Google devices. Includes both facial tracking and world tracking. There’s also integration with Google's VR building tools Tilt Brush and Blocks for creating 3D objects.
  • ARKit is Apple's platform for building AR experiences on iOS devices. Includes both facial tracking and world tracking. Also make optimal use of the iPhone’s camera sensor to estimate the total amount of light in a scene.

Other Tools

Although there is currently a great deal of both free and paid 3D content (objects, environments, textures, etc) available for use in your projects, there are times when you will want/need to create your own. A wide variety of tools are available for 3D modeling for VR and AR experiences.

  • Blender - Probably the most popular modeler for VR developers. Free and open source with a large community and great deal of documentation and tutorials.
  • SketchUp - Google's basic 3D modeling app. Very low learning curve with good tutorials to get you up and running. 
  • Tilt Brush & Blocks - More tools from Google which allow you to actually create models first in VR, then export them into a game engine such as Unity for use in projects.
  • 3DS Max, Maya, etc - While these modeling tools from Autodesk can probably produce top of the line content, they do not offer VR support by default and require paid plug-ins.