Google is no a stranger to augmented reality by any means thanks to Project Tango, but that project might not have been the perfect match for the general consumer. Another project was inevitable, and today Google unveiled just that.
It’s called ARCore, and it appears that to be a direct response to Apple’s ARKit augmented reality platform. ARCore is an AR software development kit (SDK), and it essentially draws from all of the Project Tango core elements and puts them into phones that don’t require all of the Tango sensors. This is Google’s AR experience for “normal phones.”
ARCore is meant to put AR creations right in front of you, similar to how digital pocket monsters appear in the popular AR game Pokémon GO. 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. And thanks to the built-in motions sensors in the phone, users will be able to walk around their AR content in real-time.
ARCore will also make use of the light sensors, so there will be dynamic shading and lighting, so those AR objects can have shadows while they are integrated with the real world.
ARCore is already seeing support from Unity and Unreal Engine, along with plenty of other developers out there in the world. Google is obviously supporting the platform, as are Niantic (the folks behind the aforementioned Pokémon game). ARCore even supports browsers, so users can experience the technology from inside a browser.
Google is launching ARCore today, and it will be available with preview experiments for the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Google Pixel phones. Of course, support for other devices is on the way, with device manufacturers like Huawei and LG expected to arrive on the scene soon. You’ll need a handset running Android 7.0 or higher to get ARCore to work.
Who’s excited for more augmented reality experiences?