Google launched a new type of augmented reality technology called ARCore earlier today, and now Unity Technologies announced that it has fully integrated ARCore into its Unity engine, allowing anybody who can make things in Unity to create competent, cross-platform AR experiences. That integration manifests as a software development kit, or SDK, that can be added to a standard Unity build to add features that allow users to create AR content. For the time being, ARCore is only available on Android, meaning that the ARCore SDK, when added to Unity, can only create content for Android for the time being. The first device to support ARCore is Samsung's Galaxy S8 and support for more devices will come in the future, but the Galaxy S8 is likely a bottom line for the kind of device that has the power to support the technology in much the same way that Google's Daydream VR is only officially supported on devices with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 SoC or a more powerful silicon.
ARCore itself was built in collaboration between Google and Unity, which makes a Unity SDK a natural next step for getting ARCore's power and versatility into the hands of developers, who will flesh out its content ecosystem. For the time being, no developer advocacy initiatives involving ARCore or its accompanying Unity-based SDK have been announced. Likewise, there has been no word on whether ARCore will come to popular Unity competitor Unreal Engine 4. Adding the SDK to an existing instance of Unity is as easy as downloading and installing the correct files; from there, your Unity client will automatically pick up on the SDK's functionality and display it as available in its native editor.
Google expressed excitement to be working closely with Unity again, with AR and VR vice president Clay Bavor saying that this release is a step toward bringing AR and VR technologies to the masses, a goal that Google and Unity both share. ARCore was developed with Unity in mind, meaning that even if comes to other platforms, Unity will likely remain the platform of choice for creating content with the service. Google even created its initial ARCore demo in the form of The Wizard of Oz homage using Unity.