Augmented Reality API for Android
Google: New augmented reality SDK ARCore for Android presented
Google has released an SDK for developers of augmented reality applications under the name ARCore. In the long term, the software should run on at least 100 million smartphones and tablets from Android 7.0 (Nougat). A first version of ARCore for the Pixel and the Samsung S8 is available for download from the Google Blog. According to its own information, Google is currently working with Samsung, Huawei, LG and Asus, among others, to support other devices.
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ARCore requires Unity, Unreal or Java and OpenGL as a basis. Unlike the AR technology called Projekt Tango, which is also from Google, the devices supported by ARCore do not have to use any special hardware; the Tango-compatible Phab 2 Pro from Lenovo, for example, has additional cameras especially for Tango.
So that augmented reality can still run in games, for example, ARCore measures the position of the hardware in space for motion tracking with the available cameras using reference points and with the motion sensors. In addition, ARCore can recognize horizontal surfaces such as tables or floors and use them for the correct placement of 3D objects, and then illuminate the objects correctly.
Compatible with Apple's ARKit
Google announces that it will build an entire ecosystem around ARCore so that developers can implement their augmented reality projects as easily as possible. There should be middleware for the simplest possible production of 3D objects, specially adapted browsers and more. According to Google, the browsers should not only be able to access apps that were programmed for ARCore and Android, but also for ARKit and iOS.
The latter is the actual competition from ARCore: The augmented SDK from Apple was presented in the summer at WWDC 2017, the final version should already be available with iOS 11 in autumn 2017. It is to be expected that there will then be a large number of AR applications and games for iPhone and iPad relatively quickly and that Apple will get off to a good start in the still young market.
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