Google is making a second attempt at bringing AR or Augmented Reality to millions of smartphone users with its ARCore, a new SDK (software development kit) that developers can use to create AR apps for phones that use regular hardware.
Not only phones, but Google is also releasing a prototype browser for developers that supports ARCore SDK and can be used to create AR compatible websites. The initiative follows Apple’s ARkit announcement, which has the same objective of bringing AR to the masses (for iOS devices).
What is ARCore? What will ARCore apps be able to do?
- ARCore is a new Google SDK that will allow developers to create AR apps for masses.
- When the first version is out, it is expected to be supported on 100 million Android phones
- The teams handling ARCore are Google’s VR and Android team. Which is to say, that Google will be putting in huge resources for this new project (unlike project Tango)
- This will be a certification program. Just like Google Daydream, you will need ARCore certified phones to run the new Augmented reality apps.
- Certification requirements aren’t expected to be as stringent as for Daydream VR
- Apart from phones, ARCore will also pass on tools to developers for building AR in websites.
- ARcore apps will support motion tracking, understand environment (like distinguishing a horizontal surface from a vertical one), and will be able to match AR objects to room’s lighting.
- You will also be able to sync this data across devices.
Project Tango vs Google ARcore – What’s the difference.
While Project Tango had extra hardware requirements, like the use of multiple cameras for 3D tracking, ARcore will function with customary Android phones even with a single camera.
Most Project Tango apps didn’t use the 3D mapping feature. What they essentially did was place an object on a surface and let you explore it using camera viewfinder by moving to and fro in real space. ARCore apps will also be able to do that.
You can use them to place objects in your room and the ARCore can match them to your rooms lighting to make them appear more natural.
Unlike Project Tango, you won’t need a specific phone to run ARCore AR apps, a lot of existing smartphones will have the necessary hardware for compatibility.
ARCore is Google’s big AR Push
ARCore is a big AR push coming from Google. Naturally, the search engine giant believes that this is how most users will prefer interacting with phones and objects in the future. Moving forward, we will also see AR excerpts in Google products and services like Google Maps, that is, if everything works out well.