Apple and Google prepare for Augmented Reality clash

Apple and Google prepare for Augmented Reality clash


The new platform will let creators build augmented reality applications and experiences for Android devices, phasing out the hardware-based Project Tango and competing with Apple's ARKit.

Google introduced on Tuesday a preview of its latest software development kit (SDK): ARCore. For now, it will work on the Pixel and Samsung's Galaxy S8, provided they are running Android 7.0 Nougat and above.

Google didn't give any indication as to when the ARcore platform would be available on a wider range of devices, and a disclaimer found on Google AR developer resource page gives us the impression that the platform is far from mature, which suggests that we may be waiting for a while.

According to TechCrunch, Google says that going forward phones with Tango depth-sensing capabilities will be branded as ARCore devices.

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

Because of that, Google is also releasing "prototype browsers" so web developers can start working with AR.

Google today announced the launch of a new software development kit called ARCore. This comes after Apple has revealed their answer to AR with their ARKit. ARCore is built on the work that it has done with Tango.

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Yes, ARCore will probably arrive to millions of Android devices, but only if certain conditions are met.

When iOS 11 - the next version of Apple's mobile operating system - is released next month with ARKit baked in, it will enable hundreds of millions of existing iPhones and iPads to run a new generation of augmented reality apps and games.

ARCore is already seeing support from Unity and Unreal Engine, along with plenty of other developers out there in the world.

Basically, it won't be as good as Tango devices in terms of superimposing AR images over the real-world, but it's a lot more accessible.

For motion tracking the phone's camera is used to observe "feature points in the room", and ARCore determines both the position and orientation of the handset as it moves, while virtual objects remain accurately placed.

Despite lacking special sensors, Apple's platform allows customers to place Ikea furniture in their homes using the app's augmented reality at a 98% accuracy. Now, with Apple's plans to focus on AR with the upcoming iPhone 8, Google knows these baby steps won't get it anywhere. IDC recently predicted a 172.9% growth rated for AR headsets over the next five years.

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

  • Kyle Warner