Only a few short hours ago VRFocus reported on a report that Google would be revealing more details as well as launching its augmented reality (AR) software ARCore at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2018. Well those details have now been confirmed in a new blog posting today.
The tech giant has confirmed that ARCore 1.0. will officially launch during the event in Barcelona, Spain, bringing advanced AR capabilities to 100 million Android smartphones. Developers can now publish AR apps to the Play Store, with 13 different models supporting the software to begin with: Google Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL; Samsung’s Galaxy S8, S8+, Note8, S7 and S7 edge; LGE’s V30 and V30+ (Android O only); ASUS’s Zenfone AR; and OnePlus’s OnePlus 5.
As for other devices the Google post states: “And beyond those available today, we’re partnering with many manufacturers to enable their upcoming devices this year, including Samsung, Huawei, LGE, Motorola, ASUS, Xiaomi, HMD/Nokia, ZTE, Sony Mobile, and Vivo.”
Developers have had access to ARCore since last year. With the roll out of ARCore 1.0. the update will feature improved environmental understanding enabling developers and users to place virtual assets on textured surfaces like posters, furniture, toy boxes, books, cans and more. And just for devs, Android Studio Beta now supports ARCore in the Emulator, so they can quickly test an app in a desktop virtual environment.
Obviously, rolling out ARCore 1.0. is one thing but users need content to see how good AR really is. So Google has built up several partnerships with developers to showcase how they’re planning to use AR in their apps. Snapchat has created an immersive experience for FC Barcelona’s legendary Camp Nou stadium; Porsche’s Mission E Concept vehicle can be put in a users driveway; while OTTO AR offers an exclusive set of furniture to place in a home. Google has also teased Ghostbusters World without revealing any further details.
As with Apple’s ARKit when it launched in 2017, expect there to be plenty of AR announcements in the coming days from developers launching their latest apps for Android. Google has some catching up to do, as it does VRFocus will keep you updated.