Google has launched a new beginners-level class on Coursera, designed to teach users the fundamentals of creating an AR experience from the ground up. The aptly-titled "Introduction to Augmented Reality and ARCore" takes around four weeks and a total of fifteen hours to complete and is completely free. That means anybody who has an interest in getting involved in the emerging technology can get started without any financial commitment at all. As its name suggests, users will be learning the basics of augmented reality with a particular focus on Google's own ARCore platform for mobile. Enrollment, meanwhile, is open as of this writing and classes start on July 16.
With regard to the specifics of what participants will be learning, this is a course designed for those who are entirely new to it so everything starts with an explanation of different types of AR experiences. That includes a breakdown of the popular "use cases" for those experiences and a walkthrough for exactly how the effect is accomplished using AR use flows. Beyond that, the course covers the best practices involved in ensuring that an AR experience "feels" real to the end user and an overview of the tools and platforms that make that possible. Of course, some introductory work to provide insight into where to get started using ARCore tools. Additional time will be spent addressing the use of other platforms such as Google Poly and Unity to generate, manage, and use 3D assets and elements.
It doesn't appear as though enrollees will be building their own AR applications or experiences with this class but that's also apparently not the point. Instead, Google wants to give those who have an interest but no experience whatsoever a firm grounding to move forward. By making the class free and putting focus on underlying principles, the search giant is providing an opportunity to learn more without a major commitment. As with all Coursera classes, successful completion will earn participants a certificate. Those who are still interested in continuing on to learn more, meanwhile, can explore the dozens of other programs which require the basic knowledge that Google's new course teaches.