Google announces the availability of ARCore Augmented Reality SDK
Google has announced the availability of its augmented reality development SDK called 'ARCore' to enable developers create apps that offer AR experiences across a wide range of Android phones. ARCore integrates motion tracking, environmental understanding, and light estimation to offer AR experiences to even phones without high-end depth sensing cameras.
ARCore could be Google's answer to Apple's ARKit, which will be debuting shortly in iOS 11 alongside the new iPhones. Google already has a head start in the AR space with Project Tango and DayDream VR. Google already has Blocks and Tilt Brush services that enable 3D creation in AR but that requires the user to have an Oculus Rift or a HTC Vive headset. Developers can build AR apps that leverage ARCore in the environment of their choice — be it Android Studio, Unity or Unreal Engine. Google is also releasing prototype mobile web browsers to enable AR on the web. Developers can use ARCore on Android or Apple's ARKit on iOS to create engaging web AR experiences on mobile.
ARCore requires the phone to run Android 7.0 Nougat or higher. The initial support is restricted to the Google Pixel phones and the Samsung Galaxy S8. Google says it is in talks with other OEMs such as Huawei, LG, Asus etc. to expand ARCore's reach and ensure a consistent experience. Though there are several phones in the market that make use of these technologies, notably the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro and the Asus Zenfone AR, with ARCore, Google aims to bring more AR goodness within the reach of many more Android users.