Apple and Android Contend Top AR Technology
Google has recently switched tactics in its efforts to increase the popularity of augmented reality (AR) technology on Android devices by stealthily moving away from a requirement that devices be fitted with special depth sensors.
Instead, Google is currently building software for game developers which will assist in mixing graphics with real world views through the use of regular mobile cameras and popular motion-tracking software.
This recent and dramatic tactic got the attention of tech writers as this brings Google in-line with the already mixed-reality strategy used by rivals Apple.
This brings a question to mind: in the race to be the top-dog in popular and widespread augmented reality use, who will take first prize – Apple or Android?
New Augmented Reality Apps for iOS In Development
Coincidently, just as Google announced their change of strategy for augmented reality development on Android, Apple announced several in-development AR apps for iOS.
- The Walking Dead: Our World – a zombie-themed augmented-reality game in which players have to defeat zombies in real-world locations.
- Ikea Place – an app which allows users to superimpose images of furniture over views of rooms in the owner’s home.
- Giphy World Babysitter – an app which superimposes a thumbs-up or ‘Not Okay’ sign over any food it is shown to indicate whether the food item is suitable for an infant.
- The Very Hungry Caterpillar in AR – a mixed-reality version of the popular children’s book by Eric Carle which sees the hungry caterpillar walk around the viewer’s surroundings before becoming a butterfly and taking to the sky.
These products will be released once Apple releases iOS 11, however the processor demands of the software requires the user to have an iPhone 7 or the latest generation of iPad.
Google Announces Competing Android Software Kit
Google has dubbed its competing software development kit ARCore, and while it there are no options as yet for playing online slots Canada, a recently published video shows it being used to superimpose animated objects on a table top and a street, and cartoon characters reacting to real people and pets.
However, unlike Apple’s offering, a test version has already been released which runs on Google’s Pixel phones and Samsung Galaxy S8 handsets, and Google has stated that they are partnering with Huawei, LG, Asus, and others to bring the software to more handsets.
Project Tango: A Thing of the Past?
Up until recently all of Google’s augmented reality efforts have focused on Project Tango – an initiative which used an infrared projector and a sensor to take the necessary depth measurements.
However, despite the announcement of Project Tango being made over 3 years ago, only two products have been released incorporating the technology – the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro and the Asus ZenFone AR. Unfortunately neither of the Lenovo or Asus handsets have been bestsellers which has made augmented reality app development for Android unattractive to most developers.
While Google has reportedly stated that ARCore was ‘built’ on Tango, multiple news sites have stated that newer technology was created by an entirely different group of developers who were given access to better resources.
Just the Beginning of the AR Battle
Whether Google or Apple will come out on top remains to be seen, but Apple is about to make AR technology possible to about 500,000,000 people thanks to the upcoming release of iOS 11.
This of course poses a very real threat to Android’s offerings, but they have responded well with the release of ARCore.
However, come September 12 when Apple announces their new iPhones, it may be an entirely different playing field… this battle is just getting started.