As users with low-end mobile devices will have discovered when first trying to play Pokemon Go, augmented reality (AR) technology can be quite demanding on mobile devices. To those running less that the most powerful iteration of modern smartphones, those AR functions caused overheating, or were simply unavailable. Start-up company 8th Wall is aiming to change that.
8th Wall’s aim is to make AR more generally accessible. Not just to consumers, but to programmers and developers. The company wants to make developing AR for smartphone ten times quicker and bring in native AR libraries or simply using IMU sensors and camera.
The company have now launched XR, a free plug-in for Unity that allows developers to begin developing and experimenting with AR. 8Th Wall also recently announced a successful funding round, resulting in an investment of $2.4 million (USD) from firms such as Norwest, Netaworks, The VR Fund and Third Kind.
The XR plugin allows for sophisticated features such as light and surface estimation and calibrated scene display to be integrated into AR apps, allowing digital objects to be accurately placed in the real world. The advantage of 8th Wall’s approach is that it bridges the various AR platforms to integrate with Apple’s ARKit, Google Tango or its successor, Google ARCore, and also enables order or lower-spec devices, such as older iPhones or Android devices on KitKat or later to take advantage of AR apps.
“If there are a lot of fracture platforms and we can bridge them, then we are adding a lot of value with XR,” 8th Wall co-founder Erik Murphy-Chutorian said to TechCrunch.
VRFocus will bring you further information on 8th Wall and its AR projects as it becomes available.