Google Says ARCore Will Push Augmented Reality to the Android Masses
Google today introduced ARCore, a software developer kit that will bring augmented reality to existing and future Android smartphones without the special hardware required by Project Tango. Google says it built ARCore on the foundation set by Project Tango, but has tweaked it in a way the will allow most devices to run AR apps and content. The platform works with Java/OpenGL, as well as the Unity and Unreal engines and focuses on three things: motion tracking, environmental understanding, and light estimation. Google says motion tracking will put the phone's camera to use to observe points in a room and determine the position of virtual objects as the user pans the phone around. ARCore's environmental understanding detects horizontal surfaces to ensure that objects placed on a floor or a table are positioned accurately. The light estimation feature will match the lighting of the AR object with the observed scene through the camera to give the objects a more natural and realistic look. The SDK for ARCore is being offered to developers as a preview and works today starting with the Google Pixel and Samsung Galaxy S8 (running Android 7 Nougat and up.) Google hopes to see ARCore running on 100 million devices from companies such as Samsung, Huawei, LG, and Asus by the time the preview ends. ARCore does not replace Project Tango, which is a more advanced version of augmented reality that requires specialized hardware. Project Tango handsets can also run ARCore content.
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