Google’s push for integration of augmented reality into our devices and apps came to a head when they launched the stable version of their ARCore platform software developer kit (SDK) at the mobile World Congress. The only way for people to be more drawn to AR is if there are apps and games available that will utilize this tech, not to mention more devices that can work with advanced AR capabilities. Currently it work on more than 100 million Android smartphones and 13 different models and we will see it expanding as more devices come into the market. Now with the latest updates and with the expansion of two different programs, we can understand ARCore more and consequently have more AR experiences in our lives. Here are just some of the things you can now enjoy with AR.
Expeditions AR tours now available for Android apps
If your school doesn’t have the budget to go on an actual field trip to museums or excavations around the world, there are other ways of learning that you can now use to get your kids learning about things outside their immediate surroundings. Google believes AR is the best tool that you can use to learn more about things that you can find in the places that you can explore using another technology, virtual reality (VR). They introduced the Google Expeditions AR Pioneer Program at the recent Google I/O and now they’re making these virtual tours available to everyone through the Google Expeditions Android app. There are over 100 AR and 800 VR tours already created by various partners of another underrated Google app, Google Arts & Culture. These include Smithsonian Freer|Sackler, Museo Dolores Olmedo, and Smarthistory, as well as pedagogical partners like Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Hodder Education a division of Hachette, Oxford University Press and Aquila Education.
Just A Line now lets you draw with a friend
Just A Line was one of the experimental Android apps that was introduced in March and is based on the ARCore Drawing Experiment. It basically just lets you draw on the real world screen or rather, in the air, using your smartphone. It doesn’t serve a deeper purpose. It’s just something fun you can do with your phone. The latest version now lets you draw with a friend. Just put you and your friend’s phone side-by-side and then tap the partner icon in the app. Then once it’s connected you will see the same drawing and then draw with them or even over them. Again, it’s just something you and your friend can do for fun when you’re bored or when you’re thinking about practicing an art collaboration or something.
ARCore SDK update
Google updated the ARCore SDK earlier this month and Just A Line is just one example of a new feature that developers can use on their apps and devices. They can now create shared and collaborative AR experiences using Cloud Anchors and it can even run across platforms (meaning Android and iOS). You also now have Vertical Plane Detection so you can place AR objects on surfaces like textured walls so you can see how products look like before being them. Augmented Images also lets you see images come to life by pointing your device at them. A new technology called Sceneform lets Java developers build 3D apps without having to learn more complicated APIs. This also lets them build AR apps from scratch or add AR features to their current apps.