Google's ARCore may only just be getting started, first launching just last month, but the company is already taking to its own official blog to show off some of what the platform is capable of. For those who don't already know, ARCore is a first-party effort from Google to get AR experiences into the Google Play Store and on Android through a dedicated SDK and APIs. It is effectively Google's response to Apple's own AR investments. The new examples posted today by the company, which can also be linked to through the source below, show off varying uses AR could serve on the Android Platform and are intended to provide inspiration to would-be creators and developers.
As to the "experiments" themselves, as Google calls them, they run the gamut of AR experiences from training exercises, to navigation and from socialization to practical application. First up is an example provided by Google for how AR can be used to make navigating easier, which uses Google Street View as its underlying platform. It effectively lets users explore a 3D model of The British Museum - showing off how AR platforms can be used to help users explore the world around them in closer detail without having to visit new locations. Along the same vein, Google also shows off an example of an AR program built into street view that allows Street View explorers to use their device's sensors to explore the app, instead of clicking on the arrow buttons or other buttons to navigate the virtually mapped world. Sticking to navigation, Google provides an example of a Visual Positioning Service (VPS). The current iteration of VPS is a prototype that allows users to send their location to a friend and that friend will be virtually guided to that provided location. The company has also created an example of how 3D models can be shared among users in the same space, with each user being able to explore that model at a varying depth and rotation that are linked directly to the motion sensors in their device.
Beyond the more fun examples, though any of those could be incorporated into more serious projects as well, is an example which Google describes as a way to "see into the future." In that example, the company has set up VR to show an overlay of a finished building project onto the construction site. It really provides what could be a great way for construction project managers to show off or reference the finished project while it is still underway. Finally, another more practical, real-world example centers around an app called Espresso Trainer. As the name implies, it uses augmented reality to walk a user through the steps to use an espresso machine. The concept is straight forward, as it is, but also highlights how AR can be used in the real world to train people, professional or otherwise, to complete tasks with relative ease.