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Google Brings Augmented Reality To Existing Android Phones With ARCore

30 August 2017

Today Google has officially introduced its answer for Apple's ARKit which was unveiled back in June. Google is also opening up ARCore to the web, describing it as "a critical component of the future of AR" and releasing prototype browsers for web developers to experiment with AR (on both Android/ARCore and iOS/ARKit). Google didn't give a release date for ARCore, but we should expect to see more of it later this year-perhaps at the Pixel 2 launch?

"I like to call it immersive computing to sidestep some of the jargon and acronym debate - VR, AR, MR - just everything". "Our goal here is to make AR mainstream on Android for developers and for consumers..." By putting real AR in the hands of millions of users (not just Pokemon Go), Google will put the platform on fast forward, and it won't be long before it's more than just a parlor trick. Companies like Lenovo and ASUS have since built devices that use the technology, but it seems that Google Tango is going away in favor of ARCore, which was announced today. Tango was using specialized mobile hardware for mobile augmented reality, but few manufacturers jumped on the bandwagon to build Tango-capable phones. ARCore doesn't require any additional hardware so it can easily scale across the existing Android ecosystem. The lion in the image above, provided by Google, appearing to stand right on the street, is a good example of one fun use-case. Imagine applying this same concept to other types of shopping and interior design as well. Akin to Global Positioning System, VPS works indoors - after a customer reaches the front doors of a store using GPS, VPS can take it the rest of the way by guiding a shopper through a store and to the item that they want.

With Google's new tools, developers will be able to create graphics that look like they are sitting on tables and other surfaces. You might never need to buy a TV again if you can just project a big screen over your eyes. That sci-fi future shitty movies in the 90s promised us is perilously close. So Blocks is an app we built with the intention of enabling people that have never done a 3D model in their life to feel comfortable building 3D assets.

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We're in the early days, and the ARCore software development kit has only been released to developers. Google even created its initial ARCore demo in the form of The Wizard of Oz homage using Unity. ARCore embeds parts of itself into the experimental browsers.

Google has seen iOS developers experimenting with ARKit over the past few months, and it naturally doesn't want Android developers to feel left behind. The company already has its hands full with two VR platforms, Cardboard and Daydream, and it dumped significant resources into realizing the Tango AR platform.

Google Brings Augmented Reality To Existing Android Phones With ARCore