It’s been an Augmented Reality (AR) heavy week with the launch of AR Stickers and now a new ARCore Developer Preview has launched. Google has also just ended support for Tango, their initial AR offering which required devices with more sensors.
After launching ARCore in its initial Developer Preview form in August, Google has today announced they’ve released Dev Preview 2, with Google advising they will be launching a full version of ARCore v1.0 in the coming months. There are three new technical features being launched in ARCore Dev Preview 2:
- A new C API for use with the Android NDK that complements our existing Java, Unity, and Unreal SDKs;
- Functionality that lets AR apps pause and resume AR sessions, for example to let a user return to an AR app after taking a phone call;
- Improved accuracy and runtime efficiency across our anchor, plane finding, and point cloud APIs.
Google lists their AR Stickers released earlier this week on Pixel phones as being powered by ARCore.
Google’s previous AR effort: Tango devices required additional IR and depth sensing cameras, whereas ARCore is currently available on Google’s Pixel phones as well as the Galaxy S8 phones. It’s because of these lessened hardware requirements, that Google advises that developers will soon be able to access ARCore on over 100million supported devices as reasons for working on the platform.
Obviously, the big question upon the launch of ARCore, the future of Google’s Project Tango was brought into question and today Google has confirmed that ARCore is taking over from Tango, with Tango being shutdown on March 1st.
ARCore offers the same functions as Tango, as well as including Light estimation, a function not supported by Tango, that allows ARCore to observe the ambient light in the environment, allowing developers to match their AR objects more realistically.
It’s been a long road for Tango, but ARCore’s accessibility with no additional hardware is too great a hurdle to overcome. If you want to get into AR development then ARCore is possibly the best place to start.