The Google I/O conference has been showcasing new technologies and advancements for existing products. One of the new developments has been a major update for ARCore, Google’s augmented reality (AR) toolkit.
ARCore is the successor to Google’s Project Tango, and the 1.0 version was launched at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in early 2018. With the new update, Google are introducing several new and improved features, such as social AR.
ARCore brings enhanced and extended AR capabilities to over 100 million Android devices. Since its launch, developers have been able to push AR-capable apps with ARCore capabilities to the Play Store, which are compatible with 13 different models that supported the toolkit at launch, including Google’s own Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2 and Pixel 2XL smartphones.
The toolkit allows for more complete environmental capabilities, which allows developers to place AR objects on surfaces such as furniture, posters, books, posters and more. With a newly introduced ability called Vertical Plane Detection, AR objects can be placed on more surfaces, such as textured walls, opening up new options for apps.
The new updates allow for collaborative AR experiences, such as playing multiplayer games or painting a AR community mural using a capability called Cloud Anchors. This capability will be available across both Android and iOS devices.
For developers, some faster AR development is being made possible with a technology called Sceneform, which lets Java developers build immersive 3D apps for AR without having to learn complex APIs such as OpenGL. This can be used to ass AR features to existing apps or build new AR apps from scratch.
The ARCore technology is considered more consumer-friendly that its predecessor Project Tango, since Tango required expensive additional equipment such as a depth-sensing IR camera and motion-tracking sensors to be built into the phone. As a result a large number of apps on Google Play Store have already begun to take advantage of the ARCore toolset, with more to follow in the near future.
For further news of announcements from Google I/O, keep checking back with VRFocus.