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USA tech giants Apple and Google are both adopting a "mixed reality" (MR) strategy as an introduction to full augmented (AR) and virtual reality (VR). However, the search engine firm aims to reach over 100 million devices that use the Android OS eventually.

An introduction video was released alongside the announcement, showcasing the capabilities of ARCore. Environmental understanding means ARCore can detect horizontal surfaces such as floors or tables (onto which AR objects are commonly placed) using the same feature points as for motion tracking.

The ZenFone AR supports both Google's Project Tango AR and Daydream VR.

Google ARCore is a new Android augmented reality platform that the company has announced for its mobile operating system. In Apple's case, the Cupertino, California-based company decided to make its AR system work with devices capable of running iOS 11, its next-generation operating system due out this fall. A continuation of Google's Tango AR computing platform, ARCore does not need any additional hardware to function, so all new devices running Android are ready to go.

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ARcore also allows you to anchor digital assets within a real environment so they hold their position over time.

Google's take on the technology will first be available on the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Google's own Pixel phone. The motion tracking is accurate and keeps the 3D models in place on the map despite any movement or tilting of the camera. According to Google, ARCore focuses on three important things.

While both companies have created software development kits so that developers can create AR-based apps, Google might have an edge over Apple, since it has worked on the technology longer. "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", the company's blog post reads. Light estimation allows developers to light virtual objects in ways that match surroundings, making them appear more realistic. The upcoming iOS 11 will bring with it applications developed using the new kit, and they will represent a significant head start to ARCore and whatever projects are built on it. As noted during I/O, Google is completing work on the Visual Positioning Service to bring AR to the tabletop. Additionally, prototype browsers, as well as tools like Block and Tilt, have been released for developers to pave the way for the next gen of AR enabled apps. However, while there are more Android phones in use than iPhones, Android customers are less likely to be using the up-to-date software required to run ARCore.


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