Google's ARCore will take on Apple in augmented reality

Dora Pope
August 31, 2017

Google's AR push looks to put the pressure on rival Apple, with the iPhone maker recently announcing its own software dev kit, ARKit, on iOS 11. ARCore works closely with Java and OpenGL, Unity, and Unreal with a main focus on three different functions.

Google has always been looking to lead in the virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR) fields starting with its Google Cardboard platform and the Project Tango depth-sensing smartphone - the latter being powered by the Movidius vision processing unit (VPU) technology which would be later picked up by Intel - announced back in 2014.

Although the specialized hardware used in Project Tango allows for more precise and, arguably, more immersive augmented reality experiences, Apple - and now Google - are betting that having a more accessible experience that runs on a wide range of current phones and tablets is a better bet for making augmented reality a commercial success.

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.

Light estimation by observing ambient light in the environment to make object appearance more realistic.

It's not a self-contained project either; Google plans to introduce a host of apps and services to bolster the support provided to AR developers.

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ARCore instead is created to run on most modern Android phones, with Google making it available on its own Pixel phones and Samsung's Galaxy S8 at launch.

The Silicon Valley Company said it will release a preview of the new software kit today. Hypothetically, developers could use ARCore to let your phone point out specific buildings or street corners or pinpoint indoor locations within a few centimeters. Part of the device manufacturers' unwillingness to jump on board with Tango had to do with building complicated devices riddled with sensors and cameras, something which Google is trying to fix now with ARCore. It will require Android 7.0 Nougat or above, which is why it's millions of devices, rather than over a billion. The system then combines that with IMU sensor data and ARCore is able to determine the position and orientation of the phone as it moves so that virtual objects are placed accurately.

As TechCrunch points out, Google has had excellent AR technologies for some time, but they have been beyond the reach of actual consumers. "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".

Apple, meanwhile, unveiled iOS 11 in June, with augmented reality (AR) being one of its core features.

"These custom browsers allow developers to create AR-enhanced websites and run them on both Android/ARCore and iOS/ARKit".

Other reports by My Hot News

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