It was actually just last year that Google introduced their ARCore Platform which lets developers build Augmented Reality experiences for mobile users. Since then, they say there have been thousands of ARCore apps that have been created to help people with a myriad of things through shopping, learning, and even fixing dishwashers. At this year’s Google I/O Developer’s Conference, they announced that version 1.9 is now here. Not only does it come with new features as expected, but they’ve also added support for more devices, specifically the LG G8 and the LG V50.
One of the things they’ve updated with this new version is Augmented Images. This feature lets you point your camera at 2D images like magazines or a card and then lets the 3D images “interact” with it. Now it will let you track moving images and multiple images at the same time so you can create more dynamic and interactive experiences, like using animated playing cards to learn or simply just to play.
Google has also now added Environmental HDR mode to their Light Estimation API. It uses machine learning “to understand high dynamic range illumination in 360°. This takes into consideration the shadows, reflections, highlights, etc so that the digital objects blend in well with real objects because it has the right environmental lighting. It gives three APIs to replicate the real world lighting: Main Directional Light for the shadows, Ambient Spherical Harmonics for the ambient illumination, and HDR Cubemap for highlights and reflections.
The Scene Viewer feature now lets developers launch AR elements directly from the website so the users don’t need to download a separate app just to be able to view it. They realized this is probably one of the barriers towards people trying to experience AR and so now it will become more accessible.
The addition of the LG G8 and the LG V50 for the supported devices will also help in making AR more widespread. You already have several higher-end devices from Asus, Google, Nokia, Huawei, Motorola, Oppo, OnePlus, Samsung, Sony, Vivo, Xiaomi that support AR. Version 1.9 of the ARCore Platform is now available for developers to explore.