What Makes a Good Tracking Image?


To track AR content to objects such as posters, packaging, birthday cards or magazines, we use Image Tracking.

Image Tracking uses images as targets to track AR content. These images are known as either Target Images or Tracking Images.

Image Tracking has a few benefits over the other tracking types:

  • Reliable stability and tracking performance using Zappar's best-in-class image tracking technology.
  • Add interactivity to physical objects, static objects, and print material.

What makes up a Tracking Image?

An effective tracking image usually incorporates three components:

  1. An Image
  2. A Call To Action (CTA) - used to tell the user how to activate AR content.
  3. A Trigger (zapcode / QR code) - used to launch the AR content once scanned.

The example tracking image is an onboarding leaflet, which when scanned, launches AR content that tracks to the image. The leaflet contains a CTA, telling the user to download the Zappar app, scan the leaflet, and experience the AR content.

Features of a good Tracking Image?

The key features of a good tracking image are:

A detailed design

Avoid using images that contain a large amount of blank space as it isn't registered as complex graphical data.

High contrast in all parts of the image

Our scanning technology views content in grayscale. To improve tracking performance, consider viewing your image in grayscale to view the amount of contrast between different parts of an image.

Avoid the use of repetitive patterns

Repetitive patterns such as paragraphs of text or a checkerboard pattern can interfere with tracking performance.

Aspect Ratio

Keep to a width-to-height aspect ratio between 4:1 and 1:4 (0.25 or 4 if you divide your image's pixel height by width).

Make sure the image is also using a standardized resolution, for example 1024x512 px. A destandardized or odd value in either the width or the height can cause issues when training up the image.

Placed on a flat, matte surface

Placing content on a round / reflective surface can cause tracking instability.

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