ARCore is a New Augmented Reality Platform from Google
Google announced Project Tango back in 2014 and it sparked a lot of interest within the Android community. The company then launched a dev kit that cost over $1,000, but soon other OEMs stepped up and brought the technology to a consumer level. Google’s initial approach required special sensors to work and this has had an adverse effect on the design of these consumer devices. Google has learned a lot since the inception of Project Tango (now known simply at Tango), and has released a new AR platform for developers called ARCore.
This is interesting because recently, Apple announced they wanted to get their feet wet in the augmented reality market. They did so in a big way too with what they call ARKit. Unlike Google’s Tango technology, ARKit from Apple is able to work on millions of devices that are already available in people’s hands. They found a way to implement convincing AR software into current smartphones without needing special cameras and sensors.
You would think this would put them at a disadvantage and it was in a way, but not so much in other ways. Sure, Apple’s ARKit can’t do as much as a dedicated Tango device, but it was good enough. That, coupled with the fact that it could be rolled out to current devices made it a major win for anyone interested in augmented reality. Google has taken note with what Apple has done and today has announced ARCore, a new augmented reality developer platform for Android devices and it’s already being supported by the Unreal Engine.
Similarly to ARKit, ARCore does not need special cameras or sensors in order for it to work. There will likely be some limitations as far as hardware is concerned, but Google is confident that this platform will let developers create AR experiences for virtually any Android smartphone. This includes devices already in the hands of consumers as well as devices that will be released in the future. This is being launched in a preview phase with Google’s Pixel and Samsung’s S8, but Dave Burke says they’re “targeting 100 million devices at the end of the preview.”
Source: Fast Company