On day 2 of the Google I/O developers conference, Google introduced a new version of its augmented reality software development kit named ARCore 1.2.
For the uninitiated, ARCore is Google’s platform for building augmented reality (AR) experiences and was launched roughly three months ago by Google as a follow up to Tango. Google claims in a blog post, that there are already hundreds of apps on the Play Store that are built on ARCore and that they have three new updates that will enable developers to do a lot more.
The first of the three is a shared AR experience which Google enables through Cloud Anchors. Cloud Anchors essentially is a capability which enables new types of collaborative AR experiences, like redecorating one's home, playing games or even painting something together. While Android users will be able to offer Cloud Anchors soon, Google is also bringing support to certain iOS devices to encourage cross-platform usage.
As of now, the only iOS devices that will be supported include the iPhone SE, iPhone 6S series, iPhone 7 series, iPhone 8 series and the iPhone X. Support for Java, Unity and Unreal engines have also been added.
The second feature that has been added is Augmented Images. This is a new ARCore feature that lets developers attach augmented images to real-world objects while tracking and moving with them in 3D. ARCore now also features Vertical Plane Detection which means you can place AR objects on more surfaces such as textured walls.
Google is also making ARCore accessible to more developers with the introduction of Sceneform. Sceneform allows Java users to go ahead and build 3D apps without having to learn API's such as OpenGL. Sceneform will also enable older Java apps to make use of ARCore's advanced 3D object and tracking capabilities.