Introduction of Google’s ARCore: What Android Developers Need to Know
See what you need to know to develop with ARCore, a development kit from Google that offers augmented reality capabilities for Android apps.
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Augmented Reality has always been the topmost trend that was predicted to dominate the technology market in the year 2017. The estimations of experts have not been wrong with the availability of ARKit in Apple iOS 11 and ARCore in Google’s Android. The latter announcement came in response to Apple’s highlighted vision of Augmented Reality technology.
What Is ARCore?
ARCore is a software development kit that offers developers with augmented reality capabilities to build innovative apps for Android mobile devices. Google is quite clear on making available this technology to maximum Android users and for the same reason, ARCore has unique features that enable developers to create apps for all phones, even those that do not possess depth sensing cameras.
More About ARCore: For Developers
How Does ARCore Work?
ARCore SDK is expected to work with Unity, Unreal, and Java/OpenGL. Integration of virtual objects with the real world through phone’s camera is possible with the help of the following three technologies:
Motion Tracking: Estimates the position of virtual objects in the real world.
Environmental Understanding: Detects the size and location of horizontal surfaces.
Light Estimation: Enhanced light effects for virtual objects to match the current environment’s conditions.
Using the mobile phone camera, ARCore identifies key elements of the surroundings (called features) to understand how they move over a period of time. Based on the analysis of phone’s sensor and movement of key elements, ARCore gauges an understanding of the position and orientation of phone in the real space.
To identify key elements, ARCore first detects flat horizontal surfaces and lighting in the surrounding area. These results and estimations empower ARCore to get a deep understanding of real world elements. This understanding lets users place virtual objects in the real world and view them at any angle or even when in motion.
Google and Apple's War on Augmented Reality Kits
Google is not experimenting with AR technology for the first time. The Tango platform is already available to Android high-end phones powered by the necessary sensors that allow users to play with virtual objects in the real world scenario. But the limitation of mobile phones to which this platform is available is now removed with the introduction of ARCore.
Apple came up with a major announcement along with the launch of iOS 11: the introduction of ARKit. This is the major area Apple plans to target in the coming year by offering developers a reliable platform to innovate and go a step beyond conventional apps available in the iTunes Stores.
On the same lines, Google announced ARCore software development kit, the official release to be expected in the coming winter. Early videos on how apps developed using ARCore kit would interact with virtual objects in the real world have the potential to take Android users by surprise.
If we note the timing of the announcement of ARCore, which is just ahead of the release of new model iPhone 8, this SDK seems like a direct answer to Apple’s ARKit.
Which Android Devices Can Expect to Use Apps Built on ARCore?
AR apps are supposed to work on devices running Android Nougat and higher versions. Google is in talks with other mobile handset companies such as LG, Huawei, and ASUS to bring the preview version of ARCore to more than 100 million devices.
Google knows that the time when people will demand AR-ready phones that support apps built on ARCore is not far away. Apple’s next iPhone is bound to take the practicality of ARKit to the next level and give tough competition to its latest Android OS counterpart.
ARCore, too, has the potential to surge a new wave of excitement among Android users. All that is needed for the success of ARCore is the support of developers and companies that start experimenting with this SDK and offer innovative Android application development services. Google believes in making this technology available to people even on the web by building browsers that support AR content and run on both Android and iOS devices.
It will be exciting to see how far Google goes in implementing the idea of Augmented Reality in mobile phones and the web world.
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