Integrate Azure Spatial Anchors


With a local real-world environment mapped out, we can identify a single point within the 3D space as a reference point. These points are called many things, including “Reference Points” and “AR Anchors,” … but recently, the industry seems to have settled on naming them “Spatial Anchors.” Usually, the 3D point cloud exists only locally and for the lifecycle of the application. For a mobile device to recognize the exact physical location at a later, the point cloud needs to be persisted to storage. For a self-contained application, this storage could be local device storage. If we want multiple users with multiple devices to share and collaborate in the same physical space, the point cloud needs to be persisted in a cloud-storage service, letting us share this data between devices.

It is this role that Microsoft’s Azure Spatial Anchors (ASA) fulfills. ASA is a cloud-based service supplied with application-specific SDKs. It is a relatively new service, first announced in February 2019. At the time of writing, we have an SDK for use with the Unity game engine.