Google may have launched its augmented reality (AR) software ARCore earlier this year in North America and Europe, but it’s the Chinese market most western companies are keen on breaching. This has proven difficult in the past, with Google’s core services still blocked in the country, yet thanks to a partnership with Xiaomi, ARCore is now available on its Mi Mix 2S smartphone.
Google announced that ARCore apps are now available via the Xiaomi App Store, just for Mix 2S devices at this time, getting past the Play Store block that’s in place. Obviously, the tech giant won’t be stopping there, more partners will be on their way including the likes of Huawei and Samsung in the future.
There’s already a reasonable number of smartphones that are compatible with ARCore, with Google planning on even more over the course of 2018. The company has previously said “hundreds of millions” of devices will be supported, and with the Chinese tech market dominated by smartphones (most videogames are played on them), the country is of great importance, offering a huge potential market.
During Google I/O earlier this month the company revealed a slew of updates for ARCore, making it more social, interactive and users friendly. New features included Vertical Plane Detection, allowing AR objects to be placed on more surfaces, and Cloud Anchors, enabling players to interact with one another in the digital world.
— Google AR & VR (@GoogleARVR) May 28, 2018
Google isn’t the only western company to utilise Xiaomi to gain a foothold in China. Oculus also partnered with Xiaomi on a new standalone head-mounted display (HMD), revealing the collaboration during CES 2018. While Oculus will make the Oculus Go for worldwide markets, Xiaomi will build the Mi VR Standalone for the Chinese market. As further details are released on Google’s ARCore plans for China, and the rest of the world, VRFocus will keep you updated.