In an effort to make augmented reality more popular, Google has changed its strategy and is now no longer requiring devices to have special depth sensors fitted in them. Rather it is developing software targeted at developers and this is with the intention of assisting them use common motion-tracking hardware and camera with a view to mixing graphics with views from the real world. This is similar to the strategy Apple is applying in mixed reality.
Google’s change of strategy coincides with Apple unveiling several apps meant for augmented reality which are in development for iOS. This includes a video game built around the walking dead where gamers are able to battle zombies in real-world locations. Another app lets furniture products from Ikea to be superimposed in the rooms of the homes belonging to prospective buyers in order to see how they would fit in.
Then there is Giphy World Babysitter which labels food meant depending on whether or not it can be consumed by infants. Another AR app that Apple has released is based on a children’s tale where youngsters are able to view a caterpillar roam in their neighborhoods before it is transformed, becomes a butterfly and flies away to the skies.
These AR apps have been developed by third parties following the launching of the ARKit software by Apple during the World Wide Developers Conference which was held about three months ago. End users will get to sample these products once iOS 11 is released and this is expected to be in the next few weeks as the Cupertino, California-based tech giant has a product launch event slated for next month.
Due to the software’s processor demands, owners of iPad Air 2 or iPhone 6 and other earlier products will not be in a position to run the augmented reality apps even if they update the operating system. Despite the fact that Pokemon Go which is AR-themed has achieved high popularity on iOS, with ARKit it will be possible to anchor objects to places. This will also ease lighting conditions as well as availing other benefits.
Google’s answer to ARKit has been named ARCore and a beta version has been unveiled for Samsung Galaxy S8 and Google Pixel. The online search giant also revealed that it was partnering with other device manufacturers such as Asus, LG and Huawei.
“We’re targeting 100 million devices at the end of the preview,” Google said in a blog post.