Google ARCore – Introducing Augmented Reality Platform for Android

Google has announced the launching of its own augmented reality (AR) platform which is available for Android operating system – ARCore

The new ARCore SDK is currently available to developers only, but will be rolled out to majority of Android users somewhere in winter 2017.

With more than two billion active devices, Android is the largest mobile platform in the world. And for the past nine years, we’ve worked to create a rich set of tools, frameworks and APIs that deliver developers’ creations to people everywhere,” Google said on its blog.

“Today, we’re releasing a preview of a new software development kit (SDK) called ARCore. It brings augmented reality capabilities to existing and future Android phones. Developers can start experimenting with it right now.”

Google is already working with Samsung, Huawei, LG, Asus and others to bring ARCore to 100 million devices by the end of the preview. ARCore was created by Google’s Android team in collaboration with the VR group.

It brings augmented reality features that are present on Tango-enabled phones, the Phab 2 Pro and the ZenFone AR, to a wider range of users. It works with Java/OpenGL, Unity and Unreal engines. Moreover, it focuses on three things: motion tracking, environmental understanding and light estimation.

Motion tracking is one of the most important elements in AR experience, as it determines the position and orientation of the phone as users move around; at the same time, environmental understanding is for detecting horizontal surfaces where AR objects are placed.

Light estimation means that ARCore is able to detect ambient light in the environment, allowing developers to light a virtual object in accordance with its real-life surroundings.

Google’s ARCore is currently available to test out on the Pixel, Pixel XL and the Samsung Galaxy S8. It will only run on devices powered by Android 7.0 Nougat and above.