Google has announced a new software development kit (SDK) named ARCore with a goal of bringing augmented reality (AR) technology to millions of existing as well as upcoming Android devices. The USP of this tech from Google is that it will not require users to have any specific hardware to take advantage of what the augmented reality has to offer.
ARCore is basically Google’s answer to Apple’s ARKit SDK which the latter announced at WWDC event earlier this year. It will be making it available to millions of iPhone users around the world within a few weeks with the global release of iOS 11 stable. ARKit is capable of offering its augmented reality offerings to users without having to ask them to get a new hardware or a specifically designed iPhone. This is exactly what Google is hoping to do with ARCore and something which it could not do with Tango (previously Project Tango) even after three years of its launch. There are currently only two Tango-enabled smartphones, the Lenovo PHAB2 Pro and Asus ZenFone AR, which seems to be the reason that Google decided to rebrand it. It means that going forward, all devices with Tango features will be known as ARCore devices.
Talking about ARCore itself, Google says that it is focused on three main areas: Motion tracking, Environmental understanding, and Light estimation. The first area is aimed at recognizing the position and orientation of the device (even if it is moving) so that virtually placed objects remain accurately at the correct place. The next area is about understanding the surrounding environment, specifically detecting horizontal surfaces on which AR objects are placed. And lastly, it will be able to observe and detect the ambient light of the environment which will allow developers to show their AR objects in the same light to make them look more realistic.
As mentioned in the beginning, Google wants to expand the reach of augmented reality to masses which is the reason ARCore will be coming to millions of current as well as future Android devices. But for now, it has been made available only on Google Pixel and Samsung Galaxy S8 running Android 7.0 Nougat or higher.