Google I/O is in its second day, and much attention has been dedicated towards augmented reality (AR) and the development of apps for AR and how to best implement the new features that have been introduced into ARCore. One of the sessions went into more detail on how the new features being brought into ARCore with the new update.
Augmented images is a new feature being brought into ARCore, which enhances the AR capabilities by allowing more exact mapping of textured surfaces.
Augmented images allows a flat surface, such as a box, to be turned into a 3D experience. An example given is a child’s castle toy, where if a user holds up a phone to it, the side of the box becomes an animated 3D scene, with soldiers emerging from the castle and out of the box.
A number of potential use cases for Augmented images were presented, including movie posters that show local showing times, advertisements or even to enhance a product itself such as in the example with the toy castle.
Another new feature is called Cloud anchors. Usually in an AR app, an anchor needs to be placed and any virtual objects in the app are placed relative to that anchor. If someone nearby is using the same app, another anchor is placed and this acts as a totally separate instance, and the two anchors are not ‘aware’ of each other.
With Cloud anchors, a single anchor can be placed, and both users can place objects relative to the same anchor, and interact with virtual objects from another user’s app, since they are matched within the cloud. This means that shared and cooperative or competitive AR apps can be created using this system.
As was demonstrated during the presentation with the two presenters engaging in a shared competitive AR videogame where the aim was to make your opponents board into your colour by shooting it was a virtual catapult. Both game boards were shown on each user’s phone and this experience even worked cross-platform, with one presenter using an iPhone and the other a Google Pixel.
VRFocus will continue to bring you the latest from Google I/O.