The search engine giant, Google has finally talked about ARCore in Pixel event; which an Android’s answer to Apple’s ARKit.
Most likely, Apple will unveil ARKit with iOS 11 in a couple of weeks. This means hundreds of millions of Apple devices will turn into AR-capable machines overnight; providing developers something like a new mobile gold rush to discover their niche and benefit on the platform Apple CEO Tim Cook has called “big and profound.”
Google’s AR Efforts:
Google has likewise been sampling with smartphone AR since it first manifested off Project Tango to the world back in 2014. Following three years, Google has some high technology to present as a result. But still not very useful for the actual users. Now, the company has indicated a bit of a retrogressive shift in its approach by delivering a developer preview of ARCore; a platform to deliver Augmented Reality capabilities to Android smartphones at a scale no Tango could ever reach.
Where ARCore Is Making Its Debut?
It is coming off on the Pixel and Galaxy S8 (running 7.0 Nougat and above) to kick off. But by its public release, Google intends to have 100 million Android devices with support for motion-tracked AR that shuns Tango’s 3D mesh structure for surface detection technologies comparable to ARKit.
No More Tango!
With this step, Google is adequately shuttering the Tango brand; which is certainly a bold move as it just released its second Tango device a couple of weeks ago. However, this does not imply that Google is sidestepping from high-end capabilities; but a thing that is important to ponder is to note how more and more speculations are coming across about the depth-sensing camera array on the upcoming generation.
“We’ve architected ARCore to be able to perceive a wide variety of sensors,” Google AR/VR head Clay Bavor told TechReviewsOnline. “We foresee, in the future, many more phones having depth-sensing capabilities and as those come into mainstream phones, that’s great, ARCore will work seamlessly with those and benefit from the additional sensing capabilities.”
How Does It Work?
For now, ARCore is focusing primarily on detecting horizontal planes; managing the device’s own motion tracking and estimating light; something that’s particularly cool to see in action; allowing digital objects to be dynamically lit based on the environment.
ARCore brings the scale to Google’s augmented reality ambitions that directly working with OEMs was never going to do. For smartphone makers using more up-to-date IMUs and cameras, the platform is less demanding than Tango in regards to hardware needs.
For now, most of the ARCore applications look fairly gimmicky, but that’s nothing too unique for the broader smartphone AR space.
The company is working on bringing AR to other areas through ARCore; including to an experimental build of Chrome; though more details will be available there later. For now the company, is racing to get it on as many devices as possible; and build on the Tango technologies in a way that entices developers; to get creative with Google’s AR ambitions.