In "response" to Apple’s ARKit, Google just launched ARCore. The main functionality includes motion tracking, environmental understanding, and light estimation. ARCore determines the position and orientation of the phone as it moves, which enables virtual objects to be accurately placed. Likewise, ARCore is able to distinguish horizontal surfaces using feature points in its motion tracking.
And for a wow factor, ARCore can detect the amount of ambient light in an environment to enable developers to- in effect, match virtual objects to their surroundings.
Google is launching ARCore on the Pixel and Galaxy S8 to begin with, in hopes of reaching a 100M Android devices by its public launch. Although Google started off AR focusing on Tango, it never really took off. Only two Android phones, the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro, and the Zenfone AR managed to employ Tango, which needs specialized hardware components in the smartphone or tablet. With the goal of reaching more users, Google is seemingly playing catch-up to Apple with a "software" based approach that can be deployed on existing devices in the market.
Meanwhile, Apple is happily ready to showcase a bunch of new AR apps for it’s iOS11 and new iPhone8 release in September. Brands such as The Food Network, Ikea, AMC TV met in Cupertino this week to demo their AR apps; many hope it will be a fun new way to engage customers and users alike. All in all, this adds up to some exciting opportunities for the entire ecosystem as Apple, Google among others are finally making AR mainstream.
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