In order to mix up physical and digital spaces, Google has released a beta Google SDK for augmented reality, dubbed ARCore, which is focused on bringing augmented reality (AR) to Android smartphones.ARCore is built on Google’s Tango AR technology. Developers can build new AR apps or enhance existing ones with AR capabilities.
ARCore offers native APIs for motion tracking, environmental understanding, and light estimation. These capabilities let apps use the phone camera to observe points in a room and motion-sensor data, as well as detect horizontal surfaces and light virtual objects in ways to match their surroundings to make their appearance more realistic.
ARCore works with Java and OpenGL as well as with the Unreal and Unity AR technologies.
At the outset, ARCore will run on devices running Android 7.0 Nougat and later. Google is also offering prototype browsers for web developers to build AR-enhanced websites; the prototype browsers can run both Google’s ARCore and Apple’s ARKit.
Apple says it will make an AR tool-set called ARKit available to developers in a fortnight when it launches iOS 11. ARCore and ARKit allow developers to put digital information on-screen which is relevant to whatever the phone’s camera is pointed at. It is thought that the technology could become useful for car windscreens and spectacles as sell as phones.
What exactly does the Google SDK for ARCore do?
When asked this question, a Google spokesperson said,
ARCore is a foundational layer which provides similar capabilities, but it works across the Android ecosystem. Both give developers the ability to build motion tracking, environmental understanding, and light estimation into AR applications. It’s easy to imagine how ARCore works with Blocks, creating 3D assets in VR and then bringing them to AR, or with VPS [Visual Positioning Service] to map and annotate indoor spaces like museums or stores with AR. ARCore builds on Tango technology but makes AR broadly available across Android phones without having to add any additional hardware.
The first phones that are ARCore-compatible are the Pixel and Samsung’s S8, running 7.0 Nougat, but Google is working with companies including Huawei, LG, ASUS, and others to eventually bring the preview version of ARCore to roughly 100 million devices.