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The first ARCore app lets you see virtual atoms in the real world

The Atom Visualizer app, now available in a preview version, is the first that supports Google's new AR-based ARCore platform.

Published onSeptember 6, 2017

Last week, Google officially announced ARCore, its new augmented reality platform for Android that would not require any special hardware to be installed in smartphones. Now the first publicly released ARCore-based app, AR Atom Visualizer, has been released in the Google Play Store.

The developers behind the app made it to let others see 3D animated visualizations of atom models in any real world space on their phone. The models can be viewed in either the traditional Bohr model, which shows an atom with a central nucleus with electrons in orbit around it, or with the quantum mechanical model, which shows off the atom as an electron cloud.

Launching the AR Atom Visualizer app also launches the phone’s camera, and then tapping on the plus button lets users select which of the 118 elements they want to see in a 3D model.  You can also adjust or pause the animation of the model, and learn more about each element with clicking on its Wikipedia entry.

Keep in mind that this app requires Google’s own ARCore Preview tools, along with a smartphone that is currently compatible with the SDK. Currently, that means only Google’s Pixel and Pixel XL, and Samsung’s Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus running Android 7.0 Nougat and up can run the app.

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