Google has launched a preview of ARCore, a software development kit that brings augmented reality capabilities to Android mobile devices, including those without high-end hardware like depth sensing cameras.
If that sounds familiar, it’s because Google already has an AR platform called Tango. But that earlier effort only works on a handful of powerful phones specially tricked out with the necessary sensors to allow you to place virtual 3D objects in a physical space and interact with them through your phone as if they were really there.
With ARCore, Google is opening up augmented reality to many more users – the company says it hopes to get it to work on 100 million devices by the end of the preview.
The device compatibility situation will change in the future, though, as Google assures us that it's working together with Samsung, Huawei, LG, Asus, and others to make ARCore available on many more phones. ARCore is expected to eventually run on "millions of devices". It works with Java/OpenGL, Unity, and Unreal, and has three main areas of focus: motion tracking, environmental understanding, and light estimation.