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nsucurrent.com November 23, 2017


ARCore, Google's answer to Apple ARKit released

31 August 2017, 01:24 | Ricardo Garza

Google brings AR development to Android phones

Google launches ARCore SDK in preview: AR on Android phones, no extra hardware required

Google just announced a tool that will allow developers to write augmented reality apps for millions of Android devices.

Google introduced on Tuesday a preview of its latest software development kit (SDK): ARCore. Today, ARCore runs on the Google Pixel and Samsung's Galaxy S8.

ARCore builds on Tango while expanding its reach to millions of Android devices. In order to make their AR system famous, they would have to ask their phone makers to use certain parts because it may be impossible for them to account for a variety of Android phone cameras.

Working with Java, OpenGL, Unreal, and Unity, ARCore has three pillars upon which it creates augmented experiences in your smartphone: motion tracking, environmental understanding, and light estimation. ARCore just makes it easier for developers to add AR experiences into their apps.

ARCore will support existing phones, including now Google's Pixel phones, and Samsung's S8 running 7.0 Nougat and above, with more devices being added over time.

Google also says it is working "Visual Positioning Service (VPS), a service which will enable world scale AR experiences well beyond a tabletop".

Google's answer to Apple's ARKit.




Google says ARCOre stems from its work on Tango.

Mr Michael Valdsgaard, a developer with the furniture chain Ikea, called the system "rock solid", noting that it could estimate the size of virtual furniture placed in a room with 98 per cent accuracy, despite lacking special sensors. Dave Burke, vice-president of Android engineering, said in a blog post that ARCore won't require new hardware. It offers three features such as Motion tracking that uses phone's camera to detect your position, environmental understanding for detecting horizontal surfaces, and light estimation to provide ideal light and shadow of virtual objects matching your surroundings.

As such, Apple's AR offerings will be available across a broad range of devices - and although iOS 11 hasn't been released yet, demonstration apps have already been presented to potential consumers.

Google promised more details on the AR front will come later this year, but in the meantime, its AR Experiments showcase has "fun examples" of the sort of content that's possible.

Basically, it won't be as good as Tango devices in terms of superimposing AR images over the real-world, but it's a lot more accessible.

Google wants to find ways for developers to bridge the divide between the two platforms such as the ARKit and the Android OS.

Google is catching up with arch-rival Apple in the mobile augmented reality space (popularized by Pokémon GO), announcing ARCore to keep pace with Apple's ARKit, unveiled in June.



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