Music Ally has been keenly following developments with Apple’s new ARKit technology, which will bake augmented-reality features into the next major update for its iOS software.
The theory is that it will spur a new wave of AR development for iPhone and iPad. Now Google is making its own move, announcing a software development kit called ARCore for Android smartphones.
“ARCore will run on millions of devices, starting today with the Pixel and Samsung’s S8, running 7.0 Nougat and above. We’re targeting 100 million devices at the end of the preview,” explained Google in a blog post.
“We’re working with manufacturers like Samsung, Huawei, LG, ASUS and others to make this possible with a consistent bar for quality and high performance.”
Google says ARCore will focus on three main technical challenges: tracking a phone’s movement to match virtual objects to the real-world surroundings; detecting horizontal surfaces for AR objects placed on a floor or table; and matching the lighting of those objects to the ambient light in the real world, so they blend in properly.
We’ll see now what Android developers do with these tools, as well as how many whizzy new AR apps support both ARCore and ARKit, rather than picking just one of them.