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Open Access CalAR: A C++ Engine for Augmented Reality Applications on Android Mobile Devices

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With the development of Apple’s ARKit and Google’s ARCore, mobile augmented reality (AR) applications have become much more popular. For Android devices, ARCore provides basic motion tracking and environmental understanding. However, with current software frameworks it can be difficult to create an AR application from the ground up. Our solution is CalAR, which is a lightweight, open-source software environment to develop AR applications for Android devices, while giving the programmer full control over the phone’s resources. With CalAR, the programmer can create marker-less AR applications which run at 60 frames per second on Android smartphones. These applications can include more complex environment understanding, physical simulation, user interaction with virtual objects, and interaction between virtual objects and objects in the physical environment. With CalAR being based on CalVR, which is our multi-platform virtual reality software engine, it is possible to port CalVR applications to an AR environment on Android phones with minimal effort. We demonstrate this with the example of a spatial visualization application.
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Keywords: AR engine; ARCore; Android; augmented reality; smart phones; spherical harmonics

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 26, 2020

This article was made available online on January 26, 2020 as a Fast Track article with title: "Interactive multi-user 3D visual analytics in augmented reality".

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  • For more than 30 years, the Electronic Imaging Symposium has been serving those in the broad community - from academia and industry - who work on imaging science and digital technologies. The breadth of the Symposium covers the entire imaging science ecosystem, from capture (sensors, camera) through image processing (image quality, color and appearance) to how we and our surrogate machines see and interpret images. Applications covered include augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, machine vision, data analysis, digital and mobile photography, security, virtual reality, and human vision. IS&T began sole sponsorship of the meeting in 2016. All papers presented at EIs 20+ conferences are open access.

    Please note: For purposes of its Digital Library content, IS&T defines Open Access as papers that will be downloadable in their entirety for free in perpetuity. Copyright restrictions on papers vary; see individual paper for details.

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