Apple vs Google: Who Will Win The AR Battle?

by Leon Thompson August 31, 2017, 1:22
Apple vs Google: Who Will Win The AR Battle?

If we have a peek at Google's AR Experiments collection, at first it seems like ARCore is the only software kit used by each chosen developer.

ARCore would be available for Galaxy S8 users and Google's Pixel Phone.

Although it has had an incredible augmented reality technology up its sleeves since 2014 with Tango, Google has not done much with it in the way of giving the mass consumer market access.

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Google is also developing its own apps to help users create 3D content for AR or VR. More importantly, ARCore is geared to work on any Android phone, not just Tango-equipped devices. ARCore can detect horizontal surfaces using the same feature points it uses for motion tracking, meaning AR objects can be placed on, say, a floor or table, more easily. ARCore is, instead, motion tracking, environmental understanding, and light estimation - all of which are available with a wide variety of Android device.

We heard Tim Cook, Apple Chief Executive state "AR is big and profound and this is one of those huge things that we'll look back at and marvel on the start of it". Google is testing ARCore on more phones and expects it to be running on 100 million handsets from Samsung, Huawei, LG, and Asus by the end of the preview period. For the time being, no developer advocacy initiatives involving ARCore or its accompanying Unity-based SDK have been announced.

ARKit is an essential part of the latest iteration of iOS, and Apple has taken the opportunity to show off a whole heap of apps that are built on it.

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Like Tango, ARCore is able to capture environmental information with a phone's camera to insert believable, interactive graphics and animations into the real world.

ARCore will run on Android 7.0 Nougat and newer operating system versions. However, the demos do give you a sense of the possibilities were a serious developer to put its resources behind an ARCore project. The tool will allow developers to build AR capabilities to existing, and future Android phones. While the platform does not require additional hardware, Google does want to ensure devices can run the AR engine.

Eyeglasses, vehicle windshields and other surfaces which overlay digital information on the real world have been touted by industry leaders as becoming major players in the AR space in coming years.

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Not to be beaten to the punch by rival Apple, Google has announced its own AR functionality for Android. There will likely be some limitations as far as hardware is concerned, but Google is confident that this platform will let developers create AR experiences for virtually any Android smartphone.

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