Google's Project Tango is dead, long live ARCore
Google has announced that it has abandoned Project Tango, its ill-fated experiment to bring augmented reality through specialized hardware to smartphones. Only a handful of devices ever shipped with the technology and none were especially successful. Instead, the company says it has taken everything it has learned from Project Tango on the software side and rolled into ARCore, its software-based response to Apple’s ARKit.
Now in Developer Preview 2, ARCore is the same tech that powers the new AR Stickers feature that launched earlier this week on the Google Pixel camera. AR Stickers lets users add interactive AR characters and emojis directly into photos as well as video to help bring them to life. The new ARCore SDK is also compatible with Google’s existing Java, Unity and Unreal SDKs, making it easy for developers to release AR enhanced versions of existing titles.
Apple’s ARKit functions in a similar way and allowed developers to quickly bring to market a whole new range of AR enhanced games to the App Store. With both Android and iOS platforms already reaching an extensive market, the opportunity to tap into the new experiences it offers is one developers won’t be wanting to overlook. When ARCore v1.0 launches on Android “in the coming months,” Google says it will have support for over 100 million devices running more recent versions of Android.