artoolkitX is a new open source project that has been created to continue support for the ARToolKit community and to ensure that future generations of augmented reality developers will have access to, and understanding of, the underlying algorithms that drive this innovative technology. The project is run by the core team that has been responsible for all ARToolKit development for the last decade and is funded by Realmax (www.realmax.com), a leading Chinese AR company.
Until the launch of a version 1.0 release of artoolkitX, we will actively maintain a fork of ARToolKit v5.x, provide live binary builds of the software, and actively support the user community via our forum.
The first new release of artoolkitX, including full source, is available from https://github.com/artoolkitx/artoolkitx/releases/tag/1.0. The next release will include support for operating system provided frameworks such as Apple’s ARKit and Google’s ARCore. It is also likely to include support for low cost, open source hardware such as the Raspberry Pi.
These first initiatives are geared towards democratizing the technology: By adding support for ARKit and ARCore, the software will be able to recognize the end-users’ device and chose the appropriate tracking regardless of the age or operating system of the device; and, by adding support for Raspberry Pi, we are providing students, hobbyists and others with a low cost tracking solution that can be added to phone-based AR headsets.
We have created a comprehensive development plan for artoolkitX and future releases will include new types of tracking, multi-user interaction and collaboration, ambient sensing and high-fidelity virtual environments.