Google today announced a new developer platform for augmented reality apps that won't require dedicated hardware, which it's calling "ARCore." The company originally began making inroads in the AR space a few years ago with Project Tango, which required manufacturers to implement specialized equipment so that smartphones would be compatible with Tango's AR features.

Now, Google is "effectively shuttering" the Tango brand, according to TechCrunch, and focusing on the ARCore software development kit. The new platform will deliver AR abilities to compatible Android smartphones, immediately turning a large swath of the Android device market into advanced AR-enabled machines, similar to what will happen with iOS 11-enabled devices following the debut of Apple's upcoming ARKit.

google arcore kit
To start, ARCore is launching on the Google Pixel and Samsung Galaxy S8 (which must be running 7.0 Nougat or above), and a wider adoption of more smartphones will come later down the line for ARCore's public launch. By that date, Google "plans to have 100 million Android devices" out in the wild that support motion-tracking AR capabilities, and as more advanced smartphones launch the company said that ARCore will only grow stronger.

“We’ve architected ARCore to be able to perceive a wide variety of sensors,” Google AR/VR head Clay Bavor told TechCrunch. “We foresee, in the future, many more phones having depth-sensing capabilities and as those come into mainstream phones, that’s great, ARCore will work seamlessly with those and benefit from the additional sensing capabilities.”

ARCore works by detecting surfaces near the user in order to display augmented reality content in a stable space. The Android smartphone sensors will detect these horizontal planes, factor in the device's motion tracking, and estimate the light entering a room so objects can be dynamically lit based on their environment.

The company is also focusing on the web, which it describes as "a critical component of the future of AR." It's beginning by releasing a prototype browser for web developers, allowing them to begin experimenting with AR alongside mobile developers. In the future, Google says that these custom browsers will allow developers to make AR-enhanced websites that run on both Android and ARCore, as well as iOS and ARKit.


Apple announced ARKit back in June, introducing a developer platform that functions in much the same way as Google's ARCore. With ARKit, developers can create apps that take advantage of the built-in camera, processors, and motion sensors of an iPhone or iPad, resulting in advanced AR experiences. Demos of these apps have been continuously emerging online in the wake of ARKit's WWDC announcement.

Android developers interested in ARCore can begin experimenting and creating apps for the Pixel and Galaxy S8 smartphones starting today. To see more examples of ARCore in action, Google has created an AR Experiments website.

Top Rated Comments

Zirel Avatar
63 months ago
So... google doing google things...

So, what happens to the software developers that invested their time (are therefore their money) in developing products based on Tango?

So, what happens to the device manufacturers (like Lenovo and Asus) that made phones and tablets, with expensive PrimeSense chips for the Tango platform? There's still devices to be sold to the costumers, how they are justifying the more expensive cost, to the common man in a store, now that Google made something that does everything Tango had, but for free?

100 million by the end of the year? Yeah, good luck, first, it requires nougat, second, crappy sensors will ruin this , third, most developers will want to reach more people and will use crappier SDKs that will work with more devices.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
lunarworks Avatar
63 months ago
Project Tango was never going anywhere. No one wants to buy a phone specifically for AR, and Google finally figured it out.

In any case, ARKit holds and advantage for now because it's specifically calibrated to Apple's sensors and hardware.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
D.T. Avatar
63 months ago
Google, Apple, Samsung, <insert_other_overlapping_companies_here> should just merge, since they're all doing the same thing, at the same time ...


Gapplesung, Inc.

"At Gapplesung, we make the products, we may have thought of first."
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jclardy Avatar
63 months ago
"100M devices" at the public launch. Google's solution to that - keep it in beta forever and only support brand new devices, and eventually you will hit 100M :D
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
brian3uk Avatar
63 months ago
Google cant even get the OS updated on 80+% of the phones out there. How can anyone assume they will ever get this?
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
madsci954 Avatar
63 months ago
Google, Apple, Samsung, <insert_other_overlapping_companies_here> should just merge, since they're all doing the same thing, at the same time ...


Gapplesung, Inc.

"At Gapplesung, we make the products, we may have thought of first."
The more all these companies try to stick their hand in everything, the more I think the next World War won't be between countries, but among these corporate giants.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

top stories 2jul2022

Top Stories: M2 MacBook Air Release Date, New HomePod Rumor, and More

Saturday July 2, 2022 6:00 am PDT by
The M2 MacBook Pro has started making its way into customers' hands and we're learning more about how it performs in a variety of situations, but all eyes are really on the upcoming M2 MacBook Air which has seen a complete redesign and should be arriving in a couple of weeks. Other top stories this week included a host of product rumors including additional M2 and even M3 Macs, an updated...
Mac Studio IO

Apple Begins Selling Refurbished Mac Studio Models

Thursday June 30, 2022 7:42 pm PDT by
Apple today began selling refurbished Mac Studio models for the first time in the United States, Canada, and select European countries, such as Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Spain, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. In the United States, two refurbished Mac Studio configurations are currently available, including one with the M1 Max chip (10-core CPU and 24-core GPU) for...
airpods pro 2 1

AirPods Pro 2 No Longer Expected to Feature Built-In Heart Rate or Body Temperature Sensor

Sunday July 3, 2022 8:07 pm PDT by
While past rumors have indicated the upcoming second-generation AirPods Pro will feature a built-in heart rate and body temperature sensor, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has cast doubt on those rumors turning out to be true, saying instead such a feature is unlikely to come anytime soon. "Over the past few months, there have been rumors about this year's model gaining the ability to determine a...
Apple Watch 8 Unreleased Feature Thumb

Apple Watch Series 8 Model Rumored to Feature 5% Larger Display

Monday July 4, 2022 5:50 am PDT by
Apple is working on an Apple Watch Series 8 model with a larger display, according to DSCC's Ross Young and Haitong International Securities's Jeff Pu. In October last year, Young suggested that the Apple Watch Series 8 could come in three display sizes. Now, responding to a query about the rumor on Twitter, Young claims that the additional display size joining the Apple Watch lineup will be ...
macbook air m2

Exclusive: Apple Plans to Launch MacBook Air With M2 Chip on July 15

Wednesday June 29, 2022 5:23 pm PDT by
The redesigned MacBook Air with the all-new M2 Apple silicon chip will be available for customers starting Friday, July 15, MacRumors has learned from a retail source. The new MacBook Air was announced and previewed during WWDC earlier this month, with Apple stating availability will begin in July. The MacBook Air features a redesigned body that is thinner and lighter than the previous...