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Google Gives ARCore New Capabilities Via Big I/O 2021 Update

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Google took to its I/O 2021 stage to present a wealth of new updates and Google’s AR developer tool, ARCore, isn’t being left out.  In fact, the search giant is adding several entirely new capabilities to the tool. That’s alongside new details regarding just how far ARCore’s reach has grown.

Just for starters, while Android itself has grown to encompass as many as 3-billion active devices, around a third of those have reportedly installed ARCore. And, Google says, roughly 850 million Android devices are certified to run ARCore now. As well as having access to the array of 3D AR features now found in Google Search.

What new capabilities did Google add to ARCore as part of the I/O 2021 announcement?

In terms of capabilities shown at Google I/O 2021, ARCore version 1.24 introduces two new APIs for developers to work with when creating AR experiences. The first is Raw Depth API. As described by Google, the API provides a way for users to capture a more detailed representation of “the geometry of objects” captured in a scene. Summarily, through more accurate measurements and better spatial awareness. What’s more, because this is Raw depth data, surfaces that aren’t perfectly flat can be distinguished by texture.

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The Raw Depth API also takes that further by providing a “confidence image” used by developers to filter depth data in real-time. That, in turn, lets developers choose to have their apps react only to “high-confidence” measurements.

The second API added by ARCore 1.24 is the Recording and Playback API. That captures the data and also adds in IMU and depth sensor data. Among the more prominent benefits of that is that the API allows captured data to be accessed during playback. Summarily, allowing easy duplication of the scenario and test experience.

The feature also allows users to record a scene and then add objects afterward. That’s with the end goal, of course, being to save on development and testing costs while accelerating development cycles.

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Changes added during Google I/O may take some time to appear for end-users

Now, as with all updates to features behind the scenes, the new API will undoubtedly prove useful to developers right away. But that doesn’t mean they’ll become immediately apparent to end-users in the same timeframe. End users will need to wait for developers to finish or polish up projects using the API.

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