It’s been a long road to bringing Augmented Reality to users, but Google is slowly rolling out ARCore support to more Android devices. Phones and tablets aren’t the only devices with the ability to run Android apps though, with Chrome OS a new frontier for Android users, and it appears that Google is working to bring ARCore to Chrome OS devices as well.
ARCore is Google’s broad Augmented Reality play for Android devices which was announced as a successor to Google’s previous Augmented Reality project, Project Tango, in August last year. The rollout has been slow, starting with Google Pixel and Samsung Galaxy S8 smartphones, before moving to more devices with the launch of ARCore 1.0 just ahead of Mobile World Congress this year.
The discovery in the Chromium Gerrit, which tracks development of both the Chrome browser and Chrome OS, was made by XDA-Developers and mentions the development will include ‘a refactor to add “support [for] ARCore’, using the WebXR API, which XDA-Developers points out is ‘a web framework for virtual reality (VR) and AR content’. The commit in full looks like this:
Initial refactor to support ARCore
This plumbs XRSessionCreationOptions through to device/vr from blink and creates a generic AndroidXrDevice instead of using GVRDevice directly. AndroidXrDevice can create the real device to use based on the options. Eventually, it will create an ARCoreDevice if the options.xr flag is set.
This is a timely discovery with Google this week announcing the world’s first Chrome OS tablet from Acer, which mentioned in the announcement that Augmented Reality support using Google Expeditions would be coming soon.
ARCore is an impressive feature when shown off with apps such as Google’s ‘Just a line‘ and third party apps such as the Human Anatomy Atlas and Qlone 3D Scanner. The use in education is obvious, and with Chrome OS devices seeing around 60% adoption in the US, and over 20% adoption in Australia in the education sector it’s easy to see why Google would want to bring ARCore support to Chrome OS.
There’s no dates or further information on when we could see ARCore support arrive on Chrome OS devices, but hopefully it won’t be too long.