Google has announced key upgrades for ARCore, which is Google’s AR platform powering 850+ million Android smartphones globally. ARCore relies on a phone’s sensors and hardware to collect data on depth, light estimation, and motion tracking to support developers build interactive augmented reality experiences.
Following its launch, Google has improved the capabilities and feature set and of ARCore, pushing the boundaries of what AR apps developers can achieve.
In 2020, the company launched the ARCore Depth API allowing developers to create a depth map using a single RGB camera. While in 2021, Google is adding new tools to ARCore – Recording and Playback API and Raw Depth API.
The Raw Depth API is built upon the Depth API to give more detailed descriptions of surrounding objects by generating depth maps with identical resolution images. The Raw Depth API strives to capture realistic maps to provide a per-pixel depth estimate.
The new improvements do not need specialized hardware and, therefore, can be implemented on major ARCore certified devices. The depth hit-test and Raw Depth API are already available for developers to play around with.
Google has also released a new Recording and Playback API that provides app developers more flexibility for testing different augmented reality experiences. When building new augmented reality experiences, developers have to continuously test in precise environments. With this new Playback API, developers can record videos with AR metadata like IMU motion sensor data, depth, etc., to use it to recreate the identical environment for further testing.
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