Augmented reality (AR) is changing the way industrial companies approach many aspects of manufacturing, from training to product development to service and repair. It’s hard to believe a single technology could have so many benefits, but it’s true. AR has the potential to:
- Reduce training costs
- Improve product quality
- Increase customer satisfaction with products and service
- Decrease the cost of service and repairs
- Speed up time to market for new products.
Unfortunately, because the benefits are so enticing, many companies jump in without realizing that not all AR solutions are alike. Selecting the right AR tool for your company is as critical as choosing a new ERP or CAD system, and it deserves the same analysis. If you’re trying to decide on Vuforia vs Unity, we have broken it all down to help you make the right choice.
Vuforia vs Unity: Feature and Benefits Breakdown
Vuforia is a product from PTC, the $1.26 Billion company known for its excellent tools for industrial and manufacturing companies. PTC has been around since 1985, has more than 6,000 employees and more than 80 offices around the world. The company offers tools for manufacturing companies, including Windchill PLM, Creo for 3D CAD, Thingworx for IIot, and several others. One of the best things about PTC products is that in addition to seamless interoperability with each other, they also interact easily with most competitors’ products as well.
Unity is a $542 million privately held company. A recent S-1 filing shows the company lost $163 million in 2019, and, in fact, it has never made a profit. Although Unity claims that more than 53% of the top 1,000 games in the iOS and Google Play stores were made with Unity, that claim only brings to mind the old joke: “Sure, we lose money on each one, but we make it up in volume.” Regardless of profits, Unity mostly holds its standing in the gaming world. While the AR tools could be applied to manufacturing operations, your team will likely struggle to try to make it work.
If you’re working in the manufacturing industry, you want a solution that is backed by manufacturing experts.
PTC focuses on industrial and manufacturing industries including:
- Aerospace & Defense
- Electronics & High-Tech
- Industrial Machinery
- Life Sciences
- Oil & Gas
- Retail & Consumer Products
Since everything the company does is focused on industry, everybody in the company understands the needs of industrial customers. You never have to explain why you need to accomplish something or define common terminology. You and the team at PTC speak the same language and live in the same world every day.
Unity, on the other hand, has its roots firmly in the game development world. It may call the people who use its products “makers,” but what they are making is games. If there’s a problem, the user reboots their device and starts a new game. Will the user be annoyed? Probably.
But will a gaming glitch cost you thousands or even hundreds of thousands in real money the way a glitch on the shop floor might? Nope.
Unity offers an extra cost “game crash management” tool. Its marketing literature starts with “All games hang, crash, and have errors.” That’s not okay in the industrial world, where quality targets are usually 99.999% perfect.
Support and Education
Unity has online documentation and support, a knowledge base, an issue tracker, and 24‑hour technical support for registered users. It also offers premium services for faster problem resolution at any stage in your project.
PTC gives you a full suite of online support, documentation, FAQs, a knowledge base, and access to a live support team. PTC also offers online access to developer tools, including a library of sample applications. PTC University offers both live and on-demand education if you’re looking for in-depth immersion into the best ways of using its products.
When it comes to getting the help you need in the Vuforia vs Unity battle – Vuforia wins.
Unity offers a free trial for most of its products, then offers three tiers of license ranging from $399 per user, per year for smaller organizations and individuals to $200 per user, per month for the enterprise option.
PTC also offers a free trial of Vuforia Studio, then licenses start at $42 per user, per month for small companies. One unique feature of Vuforia is that you can develop all your apps for free, using the full power of the product. When you’re ready to launch, you can choose the licensing plan that works for you. This model is a major benefit to companies who are still exploring the possibilities of AR but may not be quite ready to fully take the plunge.
Industrial Strength SDK
Unity includes 26 separate and distinct tools or engines that must be licensed to get the benefits of the complete product. Developers must put in a substantial amount of time learning each one. If you already know what you need, the tools are terrific. But how do you know whether Unity ArtEngine is better for you than Unity MARS? Do you need Unity Simulation? How about Unity Snaps? Confused yet?
Whatever you need to enable the development of 3D AR work instructions, AR training, or onsite product repairs, Vuforia Studio has it all. PTC Vuforia provides fast, immersive, step-by-step 3D overlays and digital twins that empower front line workers and accelerate time to value.
When it comes to Vuforia vs Unity, it’s clear that Vuforia is the better choice.
Vuforia vs Unity: Which is Better for Your Industrial or Manufacturing Company?
If you are an industrial or manufacturing company, Vuforia is a much better choice. Not only is it more cost-effective, but it also has the product strength and stability you need, from PTC, a well-established and profitable company that understands your business.
If you’d like to learn more about how Vuforia can help your company achieve its goals with AR, contact us today.