What’s new in Lightship ARDK 3.0
All new Lightship ARDK 3.0 is now compatible with Unity AR Foundation, making it easier than ever to get started.

We’re excited to announce that Lightship ARDK 3.0 is now in Public Beta, bringing new features and improvements to help you get the most out of the Lightship platform.

All-new compatibility with Unity AR Foundations

Unity AR Foundations is a cornerstone of many AR developers’ ecosystems, and we’re excited to share that Lightship ARDK 3.0 is now compatible with AR foundations to make development easier for current and future Lightship users.

You can now seamlessly mix and match Lightship’s advanced AR features like Depth and Occlusion, Semantics, or VPS, and Unity’s reliable AR frameworks like face and body tracking, session management, and more, all in the same project.

Current AR Foundation projects can use Unity’s Package Manager to seamlessly add ARDK in seconds. You can then choose which advanced features in ARDK work best for your AR experiences. ARDK 3.0 uses Unity’s default AR Foundation APIs wherever possible and overrides or extends functionality. This approach ensures that meshing works with the default ARMeshManager, delivering a greater range and compatibility with Android and iOS devices without LiDAR.

Improved developer experience for building location-based AR experiences

With this release, we’re also making it easier to optimize your location-based experience by streamlining the way you author content and helping end-users localize.

Our updated developer-facing APIs for VPS streamline the steps it takes to author location-based AR experiences at VPS-activated locations with two new features, Content Authoring and User Generated Content (UGC). With Content Authoring, you can anchor content remotely from Unity on a larger mesh and target localization with an anchor. UGC, you can create content at an offset from the origin at runtime, making it possible for end-users to persist their unique content at VPS-activated locations to revisit later or to allow others to discover.

With this release, you’ll also discover there are fewer steps to author content, courtesy of a streamlined system that ensures remotely authored content is ready in no time. Now simply download the mesh you want to author against from the Geospatial Browser, drag it into the Unity editor, add the AR Location Manifest to the AR Location Manager, and use the mesh they previously downloaded.

Finally, this release makes Playback Support, previously an Experimental feature, also available in public beta, giving you the tools to test your application at multiple pre-record locations for faster, reliable, at-desk development.

Get started with the all-new Lightship ARDK 3.0

Lightship ARDK 3.0 is now available in Public Beta and ready for development. To get started, download ARDK 3.0 or sign up for a Lightship account today.

Watch Jameka’s talk on Building with ARDK 3.0 to learn more about building with ARDK 3.0 or view the documentation to see the differences between ARDK 2.X and ARDK 3.0.

This is just the start of ARDK 3.0. This first release supports Depth, Occlusion, Semantics, Meshing, VPS, Remote Content Authoring, and Playback Support. Developers can expect to see remaining Lightship features like Shared AR, and more come online in subsequent releases. Feel free to leave any feedback in the forum or Discord as we seek to continually improve 3.0 ahead of our general availability release.

Published June 15, 2023
Ready to build?