Apple’s ARKit has been a major success, seeing a whole host of apps and videogames created since it launch. Not surprisingly, Google have been keen to keep pace with Apple in this area, as seen by the announcement of ARCore in August last year. Now reports indicate that ARCore is almost ready for launch.
An insider familiar with Google’s plans in the augmented reality (AR) area has been speaking to Variety, and has revealed that the ARCore framework will be released at or just after the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next week.
Preview versions of ARCore have been made available for Google’s own Pixel smartphones, allowing the company to test some of its abilities. Google plans to bring ARCore to over 100 million phones in the near future, a goal that Google plans to achieve by working with key manufacturing partners to install the framework on other Android devices.
Analysts are predicting that Samsung’s Galaxy flagship phones will be among the first to receive the ARCore update once it goes live. Google and Samsung have already worked together to introduce Google Daydream compatibility to the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note 8 series of phones. In fact, a preview version of ARCore is already available on some Samsung Galaxy S8 phones.
Google recently demonstrated the ARCore technology on its Pixel phones to allow users to capture videos of virtual Star Wars Stormtroopers. Two developer preview versions have been made accessible to selected developers, but third-party developers have so far been barred from making the resulting apps available on the Google Play Store. That will likely change with the official release of ARCore 1.0.
The ARCore technology allows for more sophisticated uses of AR, allowing virtual objects to behave like real-life objects would. If you move closer to an AR object, it will get bigger and if it is moved, its shadow will also move.
Google have been experimenting with AR technology for quite some time, with ARCore replacing the previous Tango technology that is soon to be discontinued in favour of supporting ARCore.