About ARToolKit

The cross-platform ARToolKit SDK empowers programmers to develop augmented reality applications. With an open source pedigree dating back to 2001, ARToolKit has been deployed in thousands of commercial and open-source projects and enjoys a large, expert community of creative and innovative developers.


ARToolKit was first demonstrated publicly at SIGGRAPH in 1999. Released open source in 2001 and commercialized by ARToolworks under a dual licensing model, ARToolKit and its variants have been downloaded nearly 1 million times. Following its acquisition by DAQRI, the ARToolKit professional SDKs, previously only available under paid licenses, have been released to the open source community for free use under a LGPL v3.0 license.

  • 1999

    ARToolKit first demonstrated publicly at SIGGRAPH

    The first time a working AR system had been seen outside of research labs in the US, heralding the start of the AR industry.

  • 2001

    ARToolworks incorporated in Washington State

    ARToolworks becomes a commercial AR company and releases ARToolKit v1.0 as an open source project on the HITLab website. Academics start using ARToolKit as the basis of AR research and teaching.

  • 2002

    HITLab NZ is opened under Mark Billinghurst

    Mark and his team develop a range of new AR applications including the first "Magic Book," using ARToolKit's patented Natural Feature Tracking library.

  • 2004

    ARToolKit v2.0 released open source on Sourceforge

    Moving ARToolKit from the HITLab website to Sourceforge raises the profile of AR from the academic community to the public and business sector, and allows other companies to develop AR businesses.

  • 2005

    ARToolKit ported to Nokia Symbian OS

    The AR Table Tennis application, developed by Anders Henrysson, wins the Nokia Mobile Gaming Award, marking the first time that a collaborative AR game was developed for a mobile platform.

  • 2008

    ARToolKit ported to Java and C# by nyatla to create NyARToolKit

    One of the best known Open Source AR developers, nyatla, creates NyARToolKit, leading a wave of innovation that opens ARToolKit up to multiple new languages and platforms.

  • 2008

    Apple released the iPhone 3G

    ARToolworks demonstrate ARToolKit running on the device for the first time. More than 500,000 people watched this video on YouTube by the end of the year.

  • 2009

    NyARToolKit ported to Flash by Saqoosha to create FLARToolKit

    Saqoosha’s work with nyatla enables AR to be viewed in a web browser for the first time, leading to a wave of high profile web and magazine applications – with Best Buy, GE Ecomagination, and UPS among them – bringing AR firmly into the public consciousness.

  • 2010

    NyARToolKit for Processing

    nyatla's new variant for the Processing language extends the use of ARToolKit into the art and design communities.

  • 2011

    ARToolKit for Android

    The Android variant of ARToolKit is released with a camera calibration utility allowing the rapid development of a database of camera specifications.

  • 2012

    ARToolKit for Unity released

    The development of the plug-in allows Unity developers to publish their applications to all major platforms at the press of a button.

  • 2013


    This HTML5 variant of ARToolKit is released as an open source project.

  • 2014

    Downloads of ARToolKit from Sourceforge exceed 650,000

  • 2015

    ARToolworks acquired by DAQRI

    ARToolKit Pro SDKs released under LGPL with the aim of re-igniting innovation in the AR community.

ARToolKit Team

Ben Vaughan

Ben Vaughan

Ben has spent the last 23 years involved in the real time 3D visualization industry, prior to which he spent five years as an investment banker and seven years working in the City of London as a strategic marketing and investor relations consultant.


His technology career started in the early 1990s with one of the UK's pioneering virtual reality companies (Virtuality PLC) where he was the head of External Affairs. He then co-founded a VC-backed start-up in California before moving to the East Coast to run a business unit for InterSense Inc. Since 2000, Ben has worked for his own company and become involved in several software start-ups in a variety of senior executive positions including CEO of ARToolworks Inc since 2010.

Philip Lamb

Philip Lamb

Philip leads ARToolworks' technology and product development, and provides technical and managerial expertise in ARToolworks software development, projects, and customer support.


He has over ten years experience in Human Interface Engineering, including experience in virtual reality software and systems development, mixed and augmented reality software development, applied perceptual psychology, and technology transfer and product development. His software development credentials were established through his contribution to several open-source projects, including the ARToolKit, which has risen to the top 1% of open-source projects worldwide under his management. He holds M.Sc.(Hons) and B.E.(Hons) degrees from the University of Canterbury and has been a visiting scientist at the HIT Lab on the NASA-sponsored human-robot augmented reality project in 2005.

Wally Young

Wally Young

Wally works on ARToolKit by day, and is a rock-climbing composer by night. He spends his days helping people grow with ARToolKit, and develop the project.


Previously at DAQRI, he worked as a Solutions Architect, evangelizing and aiding in development of DAQRI Smart Helmet platform and helping customers understand how 4D fits into their organization. He also served as Lead for the Mobile Team, and as an architect of the current version of the mobile platform. He holds a B.M. (Hons) from The Florida State University.

Community Panel

The panel has been established to work with ARToolKit’s management team to represent the interests of the community, and to provide feedback and suggestions that will help guide feature development, the technical roadmap and marketing initiatives.

The companies and individuals below that have volunteered to join the panel have an in-depth understanding of ARToolKit and have been working with the software for many years.