We are in the midst of a global digital transformation. Manufacturing organizations are looking for tools to digitally optimize operations. While there has been a huge focus on IoT and IIot in this industry – augmented reality (AR) is the next step in this transformation. However, since this technology is relatively new in this space, it can be hard to evaluate. That’s why we have put together this comparison of Vuforia vs AR Foundation to help you pick the right platform for your team.

Which solution is better for AR manufacturing when comparing Vuforia vs AR Foundation?

Vuforia vs AR Foundation: Feature and Benefit Breakdown

Industry Focus

Vuforia’s parent company, PTC is known for being a leader in the industrial and manufacturing space. They regularly come out with state-of-the-art solutions that optimize industrial operations from product design to manufacturing processes. That said, the Vuforia maintains it’s focus with a platform designed to support manufacturing AR.

AR Foundation is owned by Unity, a company whose original product was the Unity game engine and this platform continues that legacy. All of the AR Foundation support documentation and future roadmaps maintains this focus on various operating platforms and game stores. There is a little bit of documentation on the advances of AR in automotive and transportation, however, it is clearly not where they are headed.

Vuforia has a manufacturing focus, while AR Foundation focuses on gaming.

Developer Tools

Vuforia is known for its advanced tools and support to ensure developers can stay at the forefront of innovation. Its dedicated developer portal includes:

  • Blogs
  • Videos
  • Release notes
  • Forum
  • And more!

Tons of developers share their user-created routines to share with other customers as starting points and examples. And, of course, with Vuforia’s laser-sharp focus on manufacturing, all of these tutorials and resources are made for manufacturing, field service, or industrial use cases.

AR Foundation has some resources to help developers, like videos and blogs. There is also an app store where developers can purchase inexpensive applets or routines created by other developers to create custom AR experiences. These are good for gaming, but wouldn’t be helpful for manufacturing AR.


Vuforia manufacturing AR applications are built for heavy-duty industrial uses. These applications must work – if they don’t there are serious time and money repercussions. There are applications for a range of tasks including:

  • AR work instructions for product manufacturing processes
  • Real-world training placed on the factory floor to improve skills and decrease downtime
  • Field service instructions to get more service tickets complete on the first visit
  • AR experiences that place products in real-world scenarios so customers can envision how the products would work in their facilities

With AR Foundation’s continued focus on mobile apps, its applications aren’t built to have the same bulletproof industrial-strength features. The worst that happens in a gaming glitch is the game restarting – not as much is on the line.

Vuforia’s applications are industrial strength to ensure manufacturing processes stay on schedule and within budget.


Vuforia has robust security features built right in. Since the platform handles a range of industrial applications like remove services calls, machine programming, and IIoT – you don’t want just anyone to be able to get into those systems.

Since AR Foundation focuses primarily on single-user mobile gaming apps, the platform relies on device security. This could work for gaming but in the case of manufacturing AR – this may or may not be adequate for your needs.

Training and Support

Vuforia is backed by the comprehensive training and support offered by PTC. It includes online forums, training, support, education, and classes through their own PTC University.

AR Foundation is also sustained by a range of training and support options. AR Foundation licenses come with access to Unity Learn, a premium training site with tutorials and applications. Users have the ability to select training modules based on their level of expertise – so they can learn at their level and pace without being confused by advanced jargon or demonstrations beyond their skill-level. Unity Learn even includes an initial four-week course for new users to gain a strong base skillset.

Vuforia vs AR Foundation: Which is Better for Manufacturing AR?

When it comes to Vuforia vs AR Foundation for manufacturing AR the answer is clear – Vuforia is the solution you need. AR Foundation is a great platform but it’s best for games and other lightweight solutions and won’t have the tools required for industrial needs. Vuforia is the platform that will enhance your industry 4.0 initiatives and truly advance your digital transformation.

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