Google to finally launch its new AR platform at MWC?


Augmented Reality has been a buzzword for about a year now, even more so since Apple launched its ARKit with its latest iPhones. It's basically a platform, which allows developers to tap into the iPhones' Augmented Reality capabilities and allow them to put virtual objects in the world observed by the phone's camera.

The applications can vary — from your own digital ruler to putting virtual IKEA furniture in your room before you decide to buy, or just to placing stickers and 3D emoji that are more realistically positioned in the world. Augmented Reality can be used for work and play, which is why so many big players are trying to develop it more than they care about VR.

Google was very quick to respond to Apple's ARKit with its own ARCore. It's the same concept — a framework, which enables developers to build Augmented Reality apps for Google's ARCore partners' phones. Yes — partners — since ARCore needs to be a quality product on every device it is ran, Google will have a set of rules for any phone manufacturer that wishes to include the framework in their devices.

So, where is ARCore? Currently, it's available as a developer preview or beta on a limited set of smartphones — Google's original Pixel and Pixel 2 duos and Samsung's Galaxy S8 and Note 8 lines, for example. However, according to Variety, an unnamed source connected to Google has confirmed that ARCore will be launching publicly at MWC 2018.

This means that we should see the official ARCore installation available for a wider portfolio of phones, and all the apps that developers have been making for the Augmented Reality platform should start hitting the Play Store soon.

It remains to be seen if the anonymous source was accurate, but we'd say it sounds plausible. ARCore has been announced back in August of 2017 and Google is not a company that would slack behind on implementing new tech. Also, it has been announced way back in December that support for Project Tango — Google's previous AR framework, which was a bit clunkier — will be stopped fully on March 1st, 2018 in favor of ARCore. Coincidence? We don't think so!

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1 Comment

1. sgodsell

Posts: 6748; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Any developer could already develope apps using ARCore for quite some time. Using Unity 2017.2 and above (announced back in October 2017). You need to target Android 7 and above in order for ARCore to work in your app.

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