Watch out, Apple and ARKit. Google’s getting into the AR dev kit game — and bringing augmented reality to potentially 2 billion Android devices.
On Tuesday, Google announced ARCore, its answer to Apple’s ARKit. It’s in preview mode right now and works with a small slice of Android devices, and Google’s working with a bunch of manufacturers to help their devices conform to ARCore’s requirements. And Google already has an AR platform with Tango, something Apple does not have, and Daydream VR device, another asset that the iPhone company lacks.
ARCore also supports Epic Games’ Unreal Engine and Unity, two important tools for making games.
But now mobile AR designers face a question: Do you target iOS, which is one consistent standard, or Android, with its fleet of devices and manufacturers? While a number of observers see AR or mixed reality becoming the dominant tech in the future, some see room for both. AR is also seeing nice growth this year with enterprise users.
And what’s the common thread here? Google and Android, with devices, SDKs, and platforms, are ready for both … while Apple appears to be charging forward with AR and waiting for partners to build devices that take ARKit out of the phone and to the next level.
Like Apple, Microsoft has made its bet on AR … and it’s showing how important this fledgling tech is by putting the next Halo experience in Windows Mixed Reality. Halo is Microsoft’s most important video game property, and giving it the AR treatment shows how the Xbox company is all-in on it over VR.
For AR/VR coverage, send news tips to Dean Takahashi and Jeff Grubb (for those that cross over into PC gaming). Please send guest post submissions to Rowan Kaiser. Please be sure to visit our AR/VR Channel.
–Jason Wilson, GamesBeat managing editor
P.S. Here’s a reminder of how AR works on Apple’s iPad.
PREVIEW: CCP Games has launched Sparc for Sony’s PlayStation VR. It’s CCP’s fourth VR game, and it’s a homage to sci-fi experiences like the film Tron, with plenty of colorful neon art. It’s part of a new category of active sports, or virtual sports. I played Sparc last week at the Gamescom convention in Cologne, Germany, […]
Google today launched a preview of ARCore, an Android software development kit (SDK) that brings augmented reality to existing and future Android phones without requiring additional sensors or hardware. Developers can download the SDK now and start creating new AR experiences on Android. The ARCore preview currently supports the Google Pixel, Google Pixel XL, Samsung’s […]
Cyan has a double dose of news about its Obduction thriller. The game is debuting on the PlayStation 4 today, and the company has cut a deal with Hollywood’s Legendary Pictures to add a backstory to the award-winning adventure puzzle game. Legendary Pictures’ VR division will work on fleshing out the narrative experience of Obduction […]
8th Wall has raised $2.4 million in funding to make a suite of tools for building augmented reality applications. The Palo Alto, California, company’s twist is that 8th Wall believes its tools can help build apps that run on 90 percent of all smartphones. It works with or without supporting native AR frameworks, such as […]
Microsoft is working on a Halo virtual reality experience for its Windows Mixed Reality platform. Developer 343 Industries, the studio responsible for overseeing Halo, has previously created demonstrations for the HoloLens augmented-reality headset that is still in early testing at Microsoft. But now, the 343 team is developing a Halo game that is among the […]
With Apple’s recent introduction of ARKit, developers have rushed to create seriously impressive AR demos for the iPhone. This has resulted in some futurists and techies proclaiming that the age of the smartphone has ended and that the takeover of AR smart glasses is not only inevitable but also imminent. However, rumors of the smartphone’s […]
Today, Google is announcing ARCore, a software-based solution for making more Android devices AR-capable without the need for depth sensors and extra cameras. It will even work on the Google Pixel, Galaxy S8, and several other devices very soon and supports Java, Unity, and Unreal from day one. In short, it’s kind of like Google’s answer to Apple’s ARKit. (via Upload VR)
With every sports technology company hard at work to find a solution for player concussions, it’s no surprise that VR would eventually make its way into the fold. Where many organizations are focused on protecting brains and preventing any damaging effects, especially with football protective gear, one group in particular is using VR to quickly and efficiently detect trauma to the head directly from the sidelines. In fact the technology is so promising that Iowa State University has already announced plans to integrate the technology into their popular sports program. (via VR Scout)
Dell has a wide array of products under its name and brands, including Alienware, but the company has never had its own mixed reality headset until now. Dell announced the Dell Visor ahead of this year’s IFA conference, along with a number of updates to its XPS and Inspiron systems. Most notably, all of Dell’s updated laptops and convertibles will have 8th-generation Intel processors, making them some of the first devices to launch with the new CPUs later this year. (via Ars Technica)
Amsterdam-based interactive designer Jonathan Puckey and Studio Moniker’s collaboration with Google’s Data Arts Team has produced a compelling experience called Dance Tonite, which runs from a single website and offers something for everyone from mobile to desktop to VR. Users with VR headsets can view and participate in an ‘ever-changing’ interactive performance of LCD Soundsystem’s single Tonite. (via Road to VR)
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