Augmented Reality Cylindrical Tracking: Enhancing Interaction with Curved Surfaces

With the rising popularity of Augmented Reality technology, it’s not a surprise that new uses are coming out every day. To incorporate these changes, AR-related development is going through multiple changes. One such change is AR which is suitable for curved surfaces. As AR started to get popular, its inefficiency in tracking surfaces that are not flat came to light, and thus the development of AR cylindrical tracking aims to fill this gap and provide consumers unparalleled experience while using AR on any surface.   

Understanding AR cylindrical tracking 

AR experiences based on planar surfaces are the general norm and the one most commonly used. But, it’s limited to planar surfaces. AR cylindrical tracking uses computer vision to ensure that the object tracking on the served surface is spot on. To maximize its accuracy and precision, advanced algorithms and related machine learning models that can work on geometric structures and properties of curved surfaces, such as their curvature, orientation, and dimensions are utilized in designing AR cylindrical tracking.


Then, the user can easily access or use AR embedded on these surfaces as well. Not only does it improve the viability of AR technology, but is also efficient as it allows to achieve the same results in less surface area when compared to other tracking methods.

How is it different from traditional planar tracking 

In the first phase of Augmented Reality development, its use cases and implementation strategies were simple and limited. Thus, planar tracking that can recognize and work on simple geometric structures that comprise flat surfaces and objects was not only efficient but more than enough to fulfill the needs of the users. However, with the changing times and varied methods that developed around using AR, planar tracking started to lack as it was limited to flat surfaces and would malfunction when forced on curved objects and surfaces.


To solve this issue, cylindrical tracking that is tailored to handle the complexities of curved surfaces came to the limelight. By analyzing the specific geometric properties of cylinders, such as their circular cross-sections and consistent curvature along their length, cylindrical tracking algorithms can reliably detect and track these objects in real time. This development not only made it more apt to be used in industries where AR couldn’t be utilized to its full potential but opened the door for more development around it.

Applications and Use Cases

After understanding the core concept behind cylindrical tracking methods, let’s take a look at its application in various industries.

Industrial and Manufacturing purpose

It has been heavily used for industrial and manufacturing purposes due to its increased efficiency which is especially beneficial for industries.

Assembly guidance and instructions on curved components

AR cylindrical tracking can overlay step-by-step instructions directly onto curved parts, guiding technicians through intricate assembly processes with unprecedented clarity and precision.

Visualization of internal structures 

By leveraging cylindrical tracking, engineers and maintenance personnel can visualize the internal structures of pipes, cables, or other cylindrical components, facilitating efficient inspections, repairs, and maintenance procedures.

Retail and Marketing

Even in retail and marketing, the cylindrical tracking method is used in unique ways.

Interactive product demonstrations on cylindrical packaging

scan a cylindrical product package with their smartphone and are presented with an immersive AR experience, showcasing the product’s features, usage scenarios, or even virtual try-on capabilities.

Product information and marketing 

Cylindrical tracking can enhance product packaging by displaying additional information, promotional offers, or engaging multimedia content directly on the curved surface

Education and Training

Using cylindrical tracking, educational equipment can be turned into more coherent learning gadgets and used for training purposes too

Interactive learning experiences with cylindrical objects

Students can engage with AR-enhanced cylindrical objects, such as models of anatomical structures or mechanical components, enabling hands-on exploration and a deeper understanding of complex concepts.

Virtual dissections and explorations 

In fields like medicine or biology, cylindrical tracking can facilitate virtual dissections or explorations of curved structures, providing learners with an immersive and risk-free environment 

Gaming and Entertainment

Cylindrical tracking is a game changer for gaming equipment that hardly has planar surfaces making it more useful for gaming companies and equipment makers to pour their creativity.

Augmented reality experiences on curved surfaces

Game developers can leverage cylindrical tracking to create engaging AR experiences that blend seamlessly with curved surfaces, transforming ordinary objects into interactive gaming elements or virtual portals

Interactive storytelling and immersive narratives

Interactive storytelling can be made more immersive as stories can be saved in cylindrical scrolls and used fascinatingly to make an immersive experience for the viewers to enjoy.

Development direction in the future

Cylindrical tracking is going to be an important component of the development of AR in the future. So, what are some areas that need to be more focused to achieve maximum results?

Integration with planar tracking methods 

As both planar and cylindrical tracking techniques continue to evolve, researchers and developers are exploring ways to seamlessly integrate these approaches. By combining the strengths of both technologies, AR experiences could become even more immersive and versatile, capable of handling a broader range of surfaces and objects with greater accuracy and reliability.

Preciseness and accuracy 

Ongoing research efforts are focused on improving the preciseness and accuracy of cylindrical tracking algorithms. By refining the detection and tracking capabilities, AR applications can deliver more realistic and responsive experiences, ensuring seamless integration with curved surfaces and minimizing any visual discrepancies or latency.

Better user experience 

As cylindrical tracking becomes more prevalent and widely used, user experience will be a key focus area. Developers will strive to create intuitive and user-friendly interfaces that seamlessly blend AR content with curved surfaces


Cylindrical tracking is an essential component for AR to increase its viability in different industries and sectors. AR based on curved surfaces is extremely tricky because of its lack of precision and speed but as these problems get solved slowly, AR will become more useful and acceptable industry-wide. PlugXR is a user-friendly interface and robust capabilities enable developers, business owners and creators to integrate cylindrical tracking into their AR applications more easily.


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