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Google launches ARCore for augmented reality experiences

31 August, 2017, 01:25 | Author: Jan Cross
  • Handout Google AR

ARCore allows developers to build AR apps that display a phone's camera view, and overlay digital objects.

It's been over three years since Google's AR platform was announced, and we still only have two Tango-enabled smartphones available for purchase: the ASUS ZenFone AR and the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro.

The new ARCore SDK will allow developers to create augmented reality apps for millions of Android users.

It can also detect horizontal surfaces using the same feature points to accurately place AR objects on the floor or on a table.

And ARCore's third focus is that of light estimation, a development process which makes it easier for creators to light virtual objects in a way that corresponds to their surroundings, adding to the realistic and thus immersive effect of AR.

You can check out the company's "AR Experiments" site to see pictures and videos of projects made using ARCore.

ARCore works with Google Pixel and Samsung Galaxy S8 smartphones, supported by Android 7.0 Nougat as well as Android Oreo. Google will work with its hardware partners Samsung, Huawei, LG, and Asus to make sure more than 100 million devices are compatible with upcoming mixed-reality content.

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Google has released a preview of the ARCore software development kit (SDK), and an official launch is planned for this winter. Hence, with ARCore, Google changed course to work on phones without depth sensors.

Google announced Project Tango back in 2014 and it sparked a lot of interest within the Android community.

Google's ARCore will bring Tango to the masses.

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. ARCore is expected to eventually run on "millions of devices". Clay Bavor, Google's head of AR and VR, confirmed that Tango had fulfilled its goal and that the new platform was the future.

Burke promises that the Android team will have more to share later this year on ARCore. Many tech leaders envision a future in which eyeglasses, vehicle windshields and other surfaces can overlay digital information on the real world. While the platform does not require additional hardware, Google does want to ensure devices can run the AR engine.

ARCore is to Android as ARKit is to iOS. Unlike Google's Tango offering, however, ARKit is not capable of mapping a three-dimensional space like Tango, resulting in the platform's inability to take precise measurements into account when running augmented reality apps.



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