Augmented Reality Apps Will Change the Way You Use Your Phone

Handout Google AR

Burke says the goal is to have ARCore working on 100 million devices at the end of the developer preview, which Google anticipates will be sometime this winter.

Google's ARCore has been similarly designed for developers, requires no extra hardware and is available from 29 August, 2017 for Google's own Pixel devices and Samsung's Galaxy S8, running Android 7.0 Nougat and above.

A preview release of Google's ARcore SDK is available now, but it presently works on only three devices. Graphics artists and developers will be able to take creations produced in these tools and import them easily into AR applications that implement ARCore without the need for further transformation. Google had been investing in its Tango augmented reality platform, but that required special hardware and sensors on new smartphones.

The search giant officially unveiled ARCore today, which is built on numerous same spatial awareness technologies that Google began developing for Project Tango. It's not clear to me that AR will be more successful than 3D was long-term, and the 3D push had huge industry titans behind it and studios full of content that couldn't wait to sell people TV shows and movies "in 3D". This, of course, is in response to Apple's recent announcement that ARKit-an augmented reality developer's kit-would be released ahead of the iOS 11 launch.

However, unlike ARCore, that platform relied on purpose-built hardware with specialized sensors created to measure the distance of objects in the physical world - sensors that most phones and tablets lack.

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Then in June, at its annual developers conference, Apple announced its own augmented reality platform, ARKit, with one key difference: unlike Project Tango, Apple's augmented reality apps could run on any recently made iPhone or iPad and beyond.

Motion tracking is achieved by using the phone's camera to observe feature points in the room and inertial measurements from the device's IMU sensor. Virtual objects remain accurately placed. Eventually, Google hopes for ARCore to run on millions more Android devices from manufacturers like Samsung, Huawei, LG and ASUS.

Google wants to make it easy for Android apps to feature augmented reality technology.

Environmental understanding makes sure those objects are in the right spot, so you would have a couch in the corner, not on the ceiling. The camera on the back of your phone will make it possible to detect flat surfaces and let users place AR objects into the world as they see fit. One of the biggest hurdles, reported Digi-Capital in January, is that mobile devices with AR capability are expensive and suffer from battery-life problems alongside a low penetration of AR apps.

Until today it didn't seem that way for Google.

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