ARCore is a New Augmented Reality Platform from Google

Google launches ARCore SDK in preview: AR on Android phones, no extra hardware required

Google is releasing prototype browsers for web developers so they can start experimenting too, as these browsers allow them to create AR-enhanced websites and run them on both Android with ARCore and iOS with ARKit.

ARCore will eventually run on millions of Android devices but starting today, it's compatible with the Pixel and Samsung's Galaxy S8 running Android 7.0 Nougat and above. Google has learned a lot since the inception of Project Tango (now known simply at Tango), and has released a new AR platform for developers called ARCore. Google's promises of wide device compatibility for ARCore suggests that it may come to a wider range of handsets, although given its reliance on camera technology, it's more likely to work well with premium or at least mid-range Android devices. ARCore uses Java/OpenGL, Unity and Unreal engines for motion tracking and environmental understanding to place virtual objects accurately, and light estimation, to ensure virtual objects match their surroundings, Burke noted. This comes after Apple has revealed their answer to AR with their ARKit. Google is seems to be drifting away from Project Tango, but it has not abandoned it, yet.

In Apple's case, the Cupertino, California-based company decided to make its AR system work with devices capable of running iOS 11, its next-generation operating system due out this fall. As we mentioned at I/O, we're also working on Visual Positioning Service (VPS), a service which will enable world scale AR experiences well beyond a tabletop.

Google didn't want to be left out of the AR race that is now taking place.

Both companies have this week showcased new AR tools available for Android and iOS devices which allow users to digitally superimpose objects onto the world around them through their phones.

Now, with the introduction of new ARCore, Google has made Argument Reality a household option for users with Android smartphones.

At the same time, Google announced it will be retiring the Tango brand and that going forward phones equipped with Tango depth-sensing capabilities will be branded as ARCore devices.

Apple, however, is able to make its system work well because it knows exactly which hardware and software are on the iPhone and calibrates them tightly.

Eyeglasses, auto windshields and other surfaces which overlay digital information on the real world have been touted by industry leaders as becoming major players in the AR space in coming years. That experiment has resulted in 2 spec-heavy Tango-ready phones - the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro and Asus ZenFone AR.

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