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Google launches ARCore augmented reality SDK

August 29, 2017 | By Chris Kerr

Google has launched a new devkit called ARCore to help budding creators start making augmented reality experiences of their own. 

It's notable news for Android developers eager to try their hand in the augmented reality arena, and Google's VP of virtual and augmented reality Clay Bavor says the kit will eventually bring AR to millions of Android phones. 

Building on the lessons Google learned while developing Tango (the company's other AR platform), ARCore uses three key technologies to integrate virtual content with the real world -- as seen though your smartphone camera. 

More specifically, it uses motion tracking and environmental understanding to track the position of your phone and detect the size and location of flat surfaces, which are where you'll place virtual objects. 

Light estimation tech will then ensure the objects you throw out are lit under the same conditions as the real-world environment, heightening the sense of realism. 

ARcore is designed to work on an array of qualified Android phones running Nougat 7.0 and later, but during the preview phase it will primarily support the Google Pixel, Pixel CL, and Samsung Galaxy S8. As it stands, the SDK can be used in conjunction with Android Studio, Unity, Unreal, and Web.

"ARCore's understanding of the real world lets you place objects, annotations, or other information in a way that integrates seamlessly with the real world," explains a Google blog post, offering a brief summary of the kit's capabilities.

"You can place a napping kitten on the corner of your coffee table, or annotate a painting with biographical information about the artist. 

"Motion tracking means that you can move around and view these objects from any angle, and even if you turn around and leave the room, when you come back, the kitten or annotation will be right where you left it."

To find out more about ARCore, including how to get started with the platform of your choice, head on over to the Google's developer blog.

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