Google brings AR development to Android phones

Google launches ARCore SDK in preview: AR on Android phones, no extra hardware required

A number of companies are exploring AR, including Apple, whose iOS11 allows developers to use new APIs and kits to develop AR apps.

The Pixel and Galaxy S8 are the only ones to support ARCore at the moment.

Google ARCore is a new Android augmented reality platform that the company has announced for its mobile operating system. And as the internet will be "a critical component to the future of AR", Burke wrote, Android is also releasing prototype browsers, which allow web developers to create AR-enhanced websites and run them on both Android/ARCore and iOS/ARKit.

Google's ARCore, according to the company's announcement uses a device's camera and display to virtually overlay digital objects over an existing physical environment.

Environmental understanding using motion tracking to detect surfaces. "Both give developers the ability to build motion tracking, environmental understanding, and light estimation into AR applications". And, with the launch on iOS 11 imminent, Apple is primed to take the lead in AR development for smartphones.

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Google assures their Android customers that they will be working with manufacturers like Samsung, LG, Sony, Huawei, Asus and many other to bring their ARCore available for millions of devices and users across the globe. "With ARCore, we're taking the next step towards that goal, and we're excited to be working together again to bring these new capabilities to developers large and small". With ARCore, Google changed course to work on phones without depth sensors. Whether Google planned this before Apple's ARKit was revealed is irrelevant - because begun, this AR war has.

Google says ARCOre stems from its work on Tango. ARCore will enable the construction of AR apps on Android, the most widely used mobile platform on the globe. IDC recently predicted a 172.9% growth rated for AR headsets over the next five years. While ARKit is meant for iOS users the ARCore is for smartphones that run on Android. Android 7.0 Nougat or above is required.

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

While Microsoft's HoloLens still offers the best augmented reality experience it is being rapidly overtaken by hardware-agnostic phone-based mixed reality like Snapchat and of course Apple's ARKit.

Google meanwhile is attempting to develop a system which would equally be capable of being installed on the 100 million devices that now run the Android operating system, but is behind Apple on creating something lightweight that could be run on older devices.

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