Google today announced the launch of a new software development kit called ARCore. This SDK is going to enable the company to add augmented reality capabilities to existing and future Android smartphones. Interested developers can start experimenting with this software development kit right now.
Google’s mobile AR efforts have been focused on its Project Tango AR initiative over the past few years. ARCore is built on the work that it has done with Tango. ARCore doesn’t require any additional hardware so it can easily scale across the existing Android ecosystem.
ARCore will eventually run on millions of Android devices but starting today, it’s compatible with the Pixel and Samsung’s Galaxy S8 running Android 7.0 Nougat and above. Google is aiming to have ARCore up and running on more than 100 million devices at the end of the preview.
The company is going to work with its Android OEM partners like Huawei, LG, Samsung, ASUS, and others to make this possible while ensuring that quality and performance remain consistent.
ARCore focuses on motion tracking via the phone’s camera. It can determine the position and orientation of the phone as it moves.
It can also detect horizontal surfaces using the same feature points to accurately place AR objects on the floor or on a table. The SDK observes ambient light in the environment and enables developers to light virtual objects in ways that match their surroundings.
ARCore is what’s going to help Google popularize augmented reality by leveraging its massive Android ecosystem. The company will have more to share about ARCore later this year.