Google's ARCore will bring AR to current Android 7.0 running devices

Google's ARCore will bring AR to current Android 7.0 running devices

Google's ARCore will bring AR to current Android 7.0 running devices

Google has unveiled tools to make augmented reality (AR) apps for mobile devices using the Android operating system, in readiness for its latest showdown with Apple's iPhone over next-generation smartphone features. Google has taken note with what Apple has done and today has announced ARCore, a new augmented reality developer platform for Android devices and it's already being supported by the Unreal Engine.

What is set to bring it to the next level however is the introduction of two AR platforms from two of the biggest companies on Earth: Apple and its platform ARKit, along with Google's own ARCore.

Burke said the company is also experimenting with AR-enabled web browser prototypes and plans to release them to developers. More importantly, ARCore is geared to work on any Android phone, not just Tango-equipped devices. 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. ARCore can detect horizontal surfaces using the same feature points it uses for motion tracking. Developers are able to light virtual objects in ways that match their surroundings, making their appearance even more realistic.

Google is no a stranger to augmented reality by any means thanks to Project Tango, but that project might not have been the flawless match for the general consumer. Most of those devices are expected to become AR-ready when the free iOS 11 update hits next month. Snapchat and Instagram's filters let you become a cute fluffy animal and the world has fallen in love with Pokémon Go. It's different from Tango, another AR effort by Google that relies on custom hardware requirements.

Google says Android now runs on more than 2 billion active devices. Google also says it's working with all major Android phone manufacturers to bring ARCore to existing and future devices. Google's Pixel, Pixel XL, and Samsung's Galaxy S8 are fit to run ARCore apps, and next-gen devices should too upon launch of the SDK next year, presumably.

Eyeglasses, auto windshields and other surfaces which overlay digital information on the real world have been touted by industry leaders as becoming major players in the AR space in coming years. Hence, with ARCore, Google changed course to work on phones without depth sensors. That's clearly a response to Apple's announcement to bring its own ARKit platform to hundreds of millions of new and recent iOS devices. These AR-websites will work in Android/ARCore and iOS/ARKit, claims the company. That's sort of sad news for the very few people who bought a Tango phone - like the ASUS ZenFone AR - right out the gate.

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