๐ŸคณAugmented Reality

Augmented Reality (AR) is an interactive experience that combines the real world and computer-generated content by recognizing a user's space via the camera and then placing 3D content in it to scale.

Apple and Android devices render Augmented Reality very differently currently. Apple uses its own proprietary technology called ARkit that is native to iOS, that leaves Safari and opens a USDZ file, while Android uses WebXR to render experiences in AR straight from the browser. Foveate supports Apple and USDZ as it is the highest-quality and most ubiquitous AR platform.


USDZ is Apple's implementation of Pixar's USD file format, that includes meshes, materials, animations, audio, and interactions. It is a special Zip file exclusive to Apple devices.

A USDZ will open natively in AR on an iOS device. You can read more about the USDZ schema here.

Leveraging Pixarโ€™s Universal Scene Description standard, USDZ delivers AR and 3D content to Apple devices. Apple developed a set of new schemas in collaboration with Pixar to further extend the format for AR use cases. Simply add data to a USDZ file to give your 3D assets AR abilities, such as the ability to:

  • Anchor 3D content at a specific location in the real world.

  • React to real-world situations.

  • Participate in a physics simulation.

  • Connect audio effects to a location.

  • Annotate the environment by displaying text.

A USDZ file uses these schemas to add features to an augmented reality experience in AR Quick Look or RealityKit in place of .reality files, .rcproject files, or custom code to implement AR functionality. Reality Composer describes AR features in its USDZ export using these schemas, too (see Exporting a Reality Composer Scene to USDZ). To enable AR features in assets from a third-party digital content-creation (DCC) tool such as Maya or Houdini, edit the file in .usda textual format using the USD Toolset.

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