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Google's ARCore framework could be set for release at MWC

While a developer preview of ARCore was released last year, a wider release could bring AR technology to a much larger number of users.

Published onFebruary 23, 2018

  • ARCore is a framework that allows third-party developers to build augmented reality experiences.
  • A developer preview was released last year for a select number of Android phones.
  • A wider release could bring AR technology to a much larger number of people.

Towards the end of 2017, Google’s Amit Singh announced plans to bring augmented reality apps to “hundreds of millions” of devices by the end of 2018. Now, it looks like Google is about to start making good on that promise as a report by Variety suggests that the web giant will announce the release of the ARCore framework at the Mobile World Congress this year.

ARCore is an augmented reality software development kit that makes it easier for developers to build AR experiences. It uses the existing technology found in phones such as cameras and GPS, which means that it should work on many phones that have already been released.

According to the report, Google plans to bring ARCore to phones from key Android partners. This will be part of a major push to bring augmented reality technology to Android at the event in Barcelona.

A developer preview version of ARCore was first unveiled last year. Although at the moment this only supports a limited number of devices such as the Pixel models and the Samsung Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8 Plus, Galaxy Note 8, and Galaxy S7.

Samsung and Google team up on augmented reality with ARCore

Soon after ARCore was first announced, Google’s Daydream Labs team unveiled a number of AR experiences built using the platform. These included apps that allowed users to walk through different locations on Google Street View, overlay items in their home, and even learn how to make an espresso.

One of the first features to take advantage of the platform and actually get a wide release was AR stickers. These were rolled out to all Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL devices running Oreo 8.1 in mid-December.

Should ARCore get an official release during the MWC, it would certainly serve as a boost as Android looks to catch up with the progress made by Apple and its ARKit platform which was released alongside the iPhone X last year.

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