Google and more specifically Android have an exciting announcement at the 2018 Mobile World Congress. Google’s augmented reality SDK is exiting the preview period and becoming official–ARCore 1.0 is here.
ARCore isn’t exactly the front facing augmented reality applications that are starting to appear in the Play Store, but rather the technology and software that makes these experiences possible. It’s similar to Apple’s ARKit and lays the groundwork for developers, thus allowing them to build unique experiences for users.
Currently, ARCore is available on the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, as well as the Pixel, Pixel XL, Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+, Note 8, Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 Edge, LG V30, LG V30+, Zenfone AR, and the One Plus 5.However given that ARCore is now a 1.0 release Google is working manufacturers like Samsung, Huawei, LG, Motorola, ASUS, Xiaomi, Nokia, ZTe, Sony Mobile, and Vivo to have it be available on future devices.
In addition to expanding the devices that support ARCore, Google is also delivering enhancements to the SDK. For starters, it is now readily available in the Android Studio 3.1 Beta–Thus allowing developers to test out there AR applications in an emulator. Plus, ARCore 1.0 has an improved environmental understanding. Allowing the applications and SDK to identify different objects and surfaces. For instance, it can tell the difference and react to the user placing items on posters versus a bookshelf.
And in order to show off all the features and possibilities with ARCore 1.0, they have partnered with certain companies to develop experiences. A key one is with Snap, allowing you to be transported to Barcelona’s legendary Camp Nou stadium and to see what the view is like from the field. In addition, you can check out Porscheâ€™s Mission E Concept vehicle in your own driveway and a forthcoming experience about Sony’s upcoming Ghostbusters film.
I for one am very excited to check out the new experiences that ARCore 1.0 will undoubtedly bring, and these select partners that Google is showcasing set a high bar. As the physical hardware gets better in these smartphones, the augmented reality experience will also get better. But as Google and the Android team have proven time and time again, software is extremely powerful and can deliver truly innovative experiences–And ARCore is a great example of that in practice.