Tuesday, June 9th, 2020 Posted by Jim Thacker

Unity launches AR authoring solution Unity Mars

Unity Technologies has launched Unity Mars, a new platform for authoring augmented and mixed reality applications based on its Unity game engine.

Intended as a more user-friendly environment in which to develop and test AR experiences than the native Unity Editor, it is available as an additional paid subscription to Unity itself.

A WYSIWYG authoring and testing environment built on Unity’s AR Foundation framework
Unity already has a fairly well-established augmented reality toolset: its AR Foundation framework enables users to create content for iOS and Android mobiles, and Magic Leap and Microsoft HoloLens hardware.

The Unity Mars product page pitches the platform as an authoring layer on top of AR Foundation itself, providing a more workflow-friendly environment in which to create AR content.

As well as an interface “specifically designed for AR” and a WYSIWYG visual workflow, it supports “fuzzy authoring”, enabling users to set expected minimum and maximum boundaries for real-world objects.

According to Unity, using a tolerance range rather than exact dimensions helps to solve the “infinite number of variables problem”, in which apps fail in environments that don’t conform to their expectations.

Other benefits suggested by Unity include the option to test AR experiences against a range of readymade interior and exterior environments in Unity Mars’s Simulation View, reducing the need for physical testing.

Unity also plans to release a range of companion apps for mobile devices, enabling users to capture data and author content outside the Unity Editor itself.

Pricing and system requirements
Unity Mars is compatible with Unity 2019.3+ on a rental-only basis.

Unlike many Unity add-ons, it is available to any Unity user, including those with free Personal subscriptions, but only by taking out an additional annual subscription, billed at either $50/month or $600/year.

Unity itself is available for Windows 7+, macOS 10.12.6+ and CentOS 7 and Ubuntu 16.04/18.04 Linux. Paid Plus and Pro plans cost $40/month and $150/month for an annual subscription paid monthly.

Read more about AR authoring solution Unity Mars on the Unity product website

Read the online FAQs for Unity Mars