Google abandons Project Tango, takes on Apple’s ARKit with hardware-independent ARCore

That is, no extra sensors or exclusive devices needed to use augmented reality apps. The company thinks it has software to fix that now.

Google writes that ARCore is built on the foundation set by its Project Tango AR project, which required phones with advanced sensors.

In fact, it is taking it a step further – the company is working on bringing AR to a web browser. The last time we heard from Google about the total number of active Android devices, earlier this May, they suggested the number was over 2-billion.

In its simplest form, AR in this guise means you can focus the camera on a table then see virtual characters and objects appear on it. Walk around the table and your view of the object through your phone screen adjusts exactly as it would if the object was really there. So, with Tango, Google has been trying to figure out uses cases while determining how it could push forward AR.

For ARCore, Google says that it is already building 3D tools like locks and Tilt Brush that will help developers in creating AR content that complies with ARCore.

While there may have been consumer interest in Tango, the lack of supported devices held the platform back in many ways. Google has said that it hopes to make ARCore accessible to at least 100 million users. Social media firms, like Facebook Inc. and Snap Inc., are using the technology to jazz up and share photos and videos inside their apps. “All of this is going to be made better with AR”. Unfortunately for Google, getting manufacturers to build Tango-enabled devices was more hard than they had originally thought.

The launch of ARCore comes after Apple announced in June the launch of ARKit, allowing developers to build AR experiences for iPhones and iPads.

Environmental understanding using motion tracking to detect surfaces.

Interestingly, this AR tech doesn’t require a multi-camera setup like Tango did.

Apple has often been accused of putting on a facade and pretending it developed new technology that other companies had been experimenting with for years.

“This is a classic example of where Apple’s ownership of the whole widget including both hardware and software is a huge advantage over device vendors dependent on Android and the broader value chain of component vendors”. Google must contend with handset makers and other Android partners that have other priorities and ship with a wide range of technical capabilities. ARCore and its ties to Android will undoubtedly be compared to Apple’s ARKit and iOS, which we’ll be hearing more about next month. They found a way to implement convincing AR software into current smartphones without needing special cameras and sensors.

Google just announced its answer to Apple's augmented reality platform

 

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