February 24 2018

ARCore is Google's Answer to Apple's Augmented Reality Plans

February 24 2018, 05:50 | Jodi Jackson

It’s time to get real. Or not


And, with the launch on iOS 11 imminent, Apple is primed to take the lead in AR development for smartphones. Part of the device manufacturers' unwillingness to jump on board with Tango had to do with building complicated devices riddled with sensors and cameras, something which Google is trying to fix now with ARCore.

Back in 2014, Google announced Project Tango, an augmented reality solution that required an array of special sensors built into a device. Unfortunately for Google, getting manufacturers to build Tango-enabled devices was more hard than they had originally thought. Unlike Google's Tango technology, ARKit from Apple is able to work on millions of devices that are already available in people's hands.

The device compatibility situation will change in the future, though, as Google assures us that it's working together with Samsung, Huawei, LG, Asus, and others to make ARCore available on many more phones.

"ARCore will help further drive AR adoption by empowering developers to build and ship cross-platform AR experiences", said Mark Rein, co-founder and vice president of Epic Games, in a press release. For Android developers, the ARCore kit is open.

Apple and Google are preparing to go head-to-head with their development of competing Augmented Reality (AR) platforms.

ARCore is created to work on millions of existing Android devices and does not require special depth sensors or dual cameras. In addition, the tech giant has also been working on other Augmented Reality techs such as a Visual Positioning Service for world-scale AR experiences, and AR-compatible web browsers. Firstly, ARCore will focus on motion tracking, using a phone's camera and IMU sensor data to determine position and orientation as the phone moves.

The new ARCore SDK works on any Android device running version 7.0 Nougat of the mobile operating system or a later edition. And right now the new space to innovate in when it comes to mobile is virtual and augmented reality features.

ARCore pinpoints where different objects are, such as a table, and how virtual objects can be placed within that area.

But will your Android device support ARCore apps? Google didn't give a release date for ARCore, but we should expect to see more of it later this year-perhaps at the Pixel 2 launch? That's why ARCore observes the ambient light and allows developers to light their virtual objects to match the surrounding environment. Clay Bavor, Google's head of AR and VR, confirmed that Tango had fulfilled its goal and that the new platform was the future.

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