From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Stable release 2.72.1
Operating system Cross-platform
Type 3D graphics
License GNU GPL/ARToolKit Commercial Dual license

ARToolKit is a computer tracking library for creation of strong augmented reality applications that overlay virtual imagery on the real world. To do this, it uses video tracking capabilities that calculate the real camera position and orientation relative to square physical markers in real time. Once the real camera position is known a virtual camera can be positioned at the same point and 3D computer graphics models drawn exactly overlaid on the real marker. So ARToolKit solves two of the key problems in Augmented Reality; viewpoint tracking and virtual object interaction.

ARToolKit was originally developed by Hirokazu Kato of Nara Institute of Science and Technology in 1999[1] and was released by the University of Washington HIT Lab. Currently it is maintained as an opensource project hosted on SourceForge[2] with commercial licenses available from ARToolWorks.[3] ARToolKit is a very widely used AR tracking library with over 160,000 downloads since 2004.[4]


  • Single camera position/orientation tracking.
  • Tracking code that uses simple black squares.
  • The ability to use any square marker patterns.
  • Easy camera calibration code.
  • Fast enough for real time AR applications.
  • Free and open source.

Operating systems[edit]

It is available for SGI IRIX, Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X and Linux-based systems. Recently it has also been ported to the Symbian, iPhone, Android and Windows Phone operating systems to support mobile AR applications.

Spinoffs and related[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kato, H., Billinghurst, M. "Marker tracking and hmd calibration for a video-based augmented reality conferencing system.", In Proceedings of the 2nd IEEE and ACM International Workshop on Augmented Reality (IWAR 99), October 1999. [4]
  2. ^ ARToolKit SourceForge page
  3. ^ ARToolWorks company website
  4. ^ ARToolKit download statistics

External links[edit]