Google's Tango becomes ARCore: Phone AR for the masses

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There are over two billion active Android devices and Google has announced that its ARCore SDK is now ready for the limelight and will bring augmented reality to the masses using existing and future Android smartphones.

Manufacturers to work alongside Google to build and use the ARCore platform include Samsung, Huawei, LG and ASUS to build the platform.

Augmented reality has come a far way from where it was, just a few years ago - two leading smartphone players, Apple and Google are bringing it back post the failure of Google Glasses in 2013-14.

While both companies have created software development kits so that developers can create AR-based apps, Google might have an edge over Apple, since it has worked on the technology longer.

Apple is expected to release ARKit, its software development kit for AR, next month.

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.

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Google announced a new entry to its ever-growing portfolio of immersive technology.

Apple, once again, is Google's biggest rival and it arrived first to the game with a platform of their own: ARKit.

With regard to Apple, that knows its hardware well, Michael Valdsgaard, a developer with the furniture chain IKEA, called the system "rock solid", observing that it could estimate the size of virtual furniture placed in a room with 98 percent accuracy, despite lacking special sensors. However, the search engine firm aims to reach over 100 million devices that use the Android OS eventually. While the full immersion of a VR headset may have a higher wow factor than AR, the practicality of augmented reality-measuring, shopping, traveling, and performing other actions atop the real world-are greater.

Phone-based augmented reality (AR), in which digital objects are superimposed onto the real world on screen, got a huge boost from the popularity of the Pokemon Go game that was launched in the United States in July a year ago. Google has also released a range of experiments demonstrating its capabilities. But light estimation is one of the more interesting traits of ARCore, and it makes objects in AR react to changes in the environmental light in real time. Your phone's camera will make sure "virtual objects remain accurately placed", Burke says, while "ARCore can detect horizontal surfaces using the same feature points it uses for motion tracking" for objects on a floor or table.

"These custom browsers allow developers to create AR-enhanced websites and run them on both Android/ARCore and iOS/ARKit".

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