Google's ARCore will bring AR to current Android 7.0 running devices

The company is also working on bringing AR to the web browser, and eventually wants to allow developers to build AR experiences on the web that run on both Android and iOS, powered by both ARCore and ARKit.

Google launched Tango in 2014, and it is still one of the most advanced AR platforms for mobile devices, but it demands special hardware to work and is thus available on a very limited number of devices that severely lack broader appeal.

Motion tracking using the phone's camera for accurate object placement.

And ARCore's third focus is that of light estimation, a development process which makes it easier for creators to light virtual objects in a way that corresponds to their surroundings, adding to the realistic and thus immersive effect of AR. Unfortunately for Google, getting manufacturers to build Tango-enabled devices was more hard than they had originally thought. ARCore is supposed to more broadly leverage Android, which Google touts as "the largest mobile platform in the world".

ARCore will be made available to at least 100 million users, but Google have not yet set a date for its general release.

Today Google has officially introduced its answer for Apple's ARKit which was unveiled back in June.

Google launches ARCore SDK in preview: AR on Android phones, no extra hardware required

Despite lacking special sensors, Apple's platform allows customers to place Ikea furniture in their homes using the app's augmented reality at a 98% accuracy.

This also puts Google on even footing with Apple.

"We're excited to work closely with Google to expand our Augmented Reality offering to our developer community and look forward to further exploration in this emerging landscape", said Scott Flynn, Director of AR/VR Development at Unity Technologies. For starters, there's the matter of putting aside the 3D mesh formation that the Tango employs and replacing that with the motion-tracked AR technology that most Android phones are capable of. Apple calls its technology "scene understanding" and its ARKit is compatiblewith AR experiences being designed using softwares such as Unreal Engine. For instance, Google claimed that it has optimised ARCore's performance more than an outside developer could do.

Starting today, ARCore will run on millions of devices including the Pixels and Samsung Galaxy S8, running Android 7.0 Nougat and above.

If we have a peek at Google's AR Experiments collection, at first it seems like ARCore is the only software kit used by each chosen developer. The company already has its hands full with two VR platforms, Cardboard and Daydream, and it dumped significant resources into realizing the Tango AR platform.

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