Google ARCore

Google has announced ARCore on the same platform as the Apple’s ARkit, both enable the user to interact with their environment like never before. As Apple’s ARkit is only available on iOS 11 running apple devices with the new A9 processors, the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and the iPhone X. Google has decided to initially make ARCore work only for Samsung’s S8, S8+ and Google’s Pixel Phone and Pixel Phone 2, but by the end of the year Google has promised to touch 100 million other android devices.

As with ARkit, the ARCore is a part of SDK (software development kit), which provides tools for Android developers to build applications that can place digital objects into your smartphones screens view of the real world. Google initially introduced Tango, which claimed to be a huge no-no because for making it work special cameras had to be additionally added to the traditional smartphones. Leveraging smartphones camera and sensors, ARCore can recognize motion, surfaces upon which the items are placed upon. The difference between ARkit and ARCore is that Google uses different applications developed by the developers to make the phone interact with the reality whereas ARkit does not require any third party applications to augment anything, the augmented reality setup is inbuilt, you can just add or remove any entity just with one swipe of a finger.

ARCore can be used with Java/OpenGL, Unity, Unreal in three functionality areas, firstly in motion tracking, which is aimed to determine both the orientation and position of the so as to perfectly orient the objects to be placed. Secondly, the surface detection which allows them to place objects within the environment and anchor them to any surfaces like floor or table etc. Thirdly, light estimation for making it possible to light virtual objects to match with the real ones so they can appear realistic. Some third-party applications are also developed like the Blocks and Tilt Brush, which create 3D content for AR running applications on Android devices or the Oculus Rift.

As of now, the ARCore is solely focused on detection horizontal planes, managing motion tracking to determine the position and the orientation of the phone and detecting the light estimation to adjust the virtual objects to the real ones to make them match the reality. Additionally, Google has released an experimental AR focused build of chrome alongside apples iOS based browser.

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Ritesh Kanjee has over 7 years in Printed Circuit Board (PCB) design as well in image processing and embedded control. He completed his Masters Degree in Electronic engineering and published a paper for IEEE called Vision-based adaptive Cruise control using Pattern matching (on Google Scholar). His work was implemented in LabVIEW. He works as an Embedded Electronic Engineer in defence research. He has experience in FPGA design with programming in both VHDL and Verilog.