Google releases preview of ARCore

Aug 31, 2017, 01:24
Google releases preview of ARCore

ARCore is here to change that.

The company built on the fundamental technologies used in Tango, another AR platform by Google, but ARCore is scalable across the Android ecosystem as it doesn't require any additional hardware. However, the search engine firm aims to reach over 100 million devices that use the Android OS eventually.

Google introduced on Tuesday a preview of its latest software development kit (SDK): ARCore. The APIs available will vary depending on which development platform you select. ARcore combines the information from clusters of points to get a better understanding of the environment and its features. In many cases, virtual images placed in real-world settings appear jaggy or glitchy, sometimes floating awkwardly in space. "Motion tracking means that you can move around and view these objects from any angle, and even if you turn around and leave the room, when you come back, the kitten or annotation will be right where you left it". ARCore is less powerful than Tango, but that's okay.

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Light estimation gives phone sense of light. The same is true in AR. Both Nintendo and Sony launched their 3DS and Vita handheld systems with AR cards for playing games, but these were largely tech demos.

ARCore can detect horizontal surfaces such as floors or tables, upon which virtual objects are often placed, and track their movements, and it also detects ambient light, allowing developers to light objects so that they match their surroundings.

With this set of basics, developers should be able to sink their teeth into some basic augmented reality thanks to ARCore. And as announced at I/O, the company is still working on its larger-scale Visual Positioning Service, which will enable "world scale AR experiences" for indoor mapping, among other things.

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Both Apple and Google will spruik for the eyes of software developers and customers to use and build various applications, which will make augmented reality on their respective smartphones a valuable feature. Just like ARKit, Google's ARCore just needs your phone. Let's not forget about the desktop.

Given the fact that there are way more Android users than iOS, it looks like ARCore may eclipse Apple's ARKit concerning user base.

"ARCore will run on millions of devices, starting today with the Pixel and Samsung's S8, running 7.0 Nougat and above", said vice-president of Android engineering, Dave Burke.

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Google has seen iOS developers experimenting with ARKit over the past few months, and it naturally doesn't want Android developers to feel left behind.

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