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Google Enters the Mobile AR Field with ARCore for Android

A developer preview is available from today.

Ever since Apple announced its augmented reality (AR) software ARKit a few months ago developers across the world have been excitedly creating AR projects. Now it’s the turn of Google, with the company unveiling its version ARCore for Android devices.

Just like ARKit for iOS, ARCore enables AR development across Android ecosystem, giving developers the ability to make compelling AR experiences without the need for any additional hardware. ARCore SDK supports the Google Pixel, Pixel XL, and the Samsung Galaxy S8 running Android 7.0 Nougat and above.

ARCore has three main components: motion tracking, environmental understanding and light estimation. With motion tracking ARCore combines visual data from the device’s camera and inertial measurements from the device’s IMU to estimate the position and orientation of the camera relative to the world over time. ARCore learns to understand the real world environment by detecting feature points and planes. The former are visually distinct features in the captured camera image while the latter are feature points that appear to lie on common horizontal surfaces, like tables and desks.

Using light estimation, ARCore enables developers to light their virtual objects under the same conditions as the environment around a user, increasing the sense of realism.

“ARCore is a foundational layer which provides similar capabilities, but it works across the Android ecosystem,” a Google spokesperson told Mashable. “Both give developers the ability to build motion tracking, environmental understanding, and light estimation into AR applications. It’s easy to imagine how ARCore works with Blocks, creating 3D assets in VR and then bringing them to AR, or with VPS [Visual Positioning Service] to map and annotate indoor spaces like museums or stores with AR.”

Google’s releasing a preview of the ARCore software development kit (SDK) today with further details to be unveiled later this year. When they are VRFocus will bring you the latest updates.

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