We could provide you with a number of statistics on how the augmented reality industry is growing at an unprecedented clip, but this isn’t that sort of article. The development of Apple’s ARKit and Android’s ARCore tells us all we need to know about the future of AR — and it’s here to stay!
Not only are most new phones that come off of their assembly lines AR capable, but these software development kits (SDKs) encourage the creation of augmented reality applications for all of us to create and enjoy on a global scale.
When ARKit was released during Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference earlier this year, we were jumping for joy around the office. However, it’s time in the spotlight was short lived when Android turned around and announced ARCore just months later. Again, there were no complaints on our end. You know the old saying, “two SDKs in the hand are better than one in the cloud”… or something like that.
What’s The Difference?
Some will say that because of Project Tango (Google’s AR program released in 2014) that Android will have the upper hand since they have been publicly developing for augmented reality for a longer period of time. The only difference is that Tango relies on sensors specially built into the phone, which, unless you have something like a Lenovo Phab, most are not equipped with.
Additionally, when augmented reality and virtual reality were in an arms race to own the marketplace, it seemed as though Google chose to side with VR in the early stages. Major marketing campaigns for hardware such as Google Daydream, HTC Vive and even their YouTube VR channel are all proof of this.
On the Apple side of things, we really don’t know how long they have had an AR division. There had been rumors of Apple getting into the augmented reality space for several years before, and these suspicions were confirmed through their blockbuster purchase of Metaio back in 2015. Yet, Apple seems to have more secrets than the Illuminati, so who really knows what was happening behind the scenes? We do know that they never really took to the virtual reality trend like Android and Google did.
What’s The Same?
Besides operating systems, ARKit and ARCore have more in common than they are different. Both platforms have made access to augmented reality content for both developers and consumers incredibly easy.
They both can understand their environment through light estimation and motion tracking, and developers can leverage these powerful features within external platforms such as Unity and Unreal. As long as users have the most current operating system (iOS 11 for Apple and Nougat or above for Androids) and hardware (iPhone 6S and up for Apple and Google Pixel, Pixel XL, Samsung Galaxy S8, S8+, and Note8 for Android), they are good to go.
If integrating ARKit and ARCore are important to your project, don’t hesitate to contact us. Whether you’re in the Android or Apple camp, or just a tech geek like us, these are exciting times. The current trends have shown us that augmented reality isn’t going anywhere, and in all honesty, ARCore and ARKit are just the tip of the iceberg.