About Us

ARToolworks specializes in the development of tools and applications for augmented reality. We are the exclusive commercial licensors of the ARToolKit software family, the world’s leading toolkit for augmented reality, as well as a range of other AR products.

Our aims are:

Our staff includes some of the leading advocates of augmented and virtual reality interaction design, talented software engineers and designers and support personnel. Key relationships include strong connections to the academic community, including partnerships with the HIT Lab NZ and HIT Lab US research labs.


ARToolworks was founded in 2001 by Mark Billinghurst and Tom Furness to provide commercial licenses for ARToolKit and the company has since grown to provide a full range of AR products and services.

Since its founding, ARToolworks has continued to develop AR technology. In 2003, it was awarded a patent for its natural feature tracking software for computer vision based markerless tracking. The ARToolKit library has been ported to all major operating systems and programming languages such as C/C++, Java, C#, and Flash. ARToolworks is also active in the mobile market and, in 2008, was the first company to develop and release a marker-based tracking library for the iPhone.

In addition to selling low-level AR libraries, ARToolworks has a long history of providing customized application development. For example, in 2005 ARToolworks was engaged by the Museum of Science, Boston, to produce an interactive augmented reality exhibit to be part of the LucasArts Starwars-based touring science exhibition. On opening of the exhibit, the interactive kiosks developed by ARToolworks proved to be one of the most popular parts of the exhibition, with over 275,000 users in the first six months alone.

With a global network of resellers, hundreds of customers worldwide and hundreds of thousands of users of its technology, ARToolworks is an ideal partner for bringing AR technology to market.

Key people

Professor Thomas A. Furness III

Professor Thomas A. Furness III  |  Chairman

Professor Furness is widely credited as one of the founding father of virtual reality. His early work in developing virtual control and visualization technologies for fighter aircraft has transitioned into a distinguished academic and commercial career which includes the founding of the HIT Lab at the University of Washington, and numerous inventions which have enhanced human computer interaction and individual’s lives, such as the virtual retinal display.

Professor Mark Billinghurst

Professor Mark Billinghurst  |  Co-Founder

Through his advisory role to ARToolworks and as Director of the HIT Lab NZ at the University of Canterbury, Professor Billinghurst provides leadership and a connection to world-leading research in Augmented Reality. A leading AR researcher with 15 years of experience and over 200 publications, he is well known for developing the MagicBook AR interface, and conducting research in mobile AR and AR interaction design and usability.

Ben Vaughan

Ben Vaughan  |  CEO

Ben Vaughan has spent the last 20 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.  In addition to his role at ARToolworks, Ben is on the board of Simulation Synthesis Ltd, a developer of real time 3D authoring software.

Philip Lamb

Philip Lamb  |  CTO

Philip Lamb 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.

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