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Google’s ARCore SDK preview is available today for Unity 2017.2b9. ARCore will enable AR (Augmented Reality) development for the entire Android ecosystem, giving developers the ability to build captivating AR experiences for millions of users, without the need for specialized hardware.

Download ARCore SDK preview – requires Unity 2017.20b9 and Android API SDK v24

Unity and Google have a shared vision of democratizing Virtual and Augmented Reality development. Unity’s XR team has been working hand-in-hand with the Immersive Computing team at Google to overcome some of the most difficult challenges AR development presents.

One of the biggest hurdles that developers face is ensuring that their apps and experiences are available to the widest possible audience. To overcome this, AR needs to work on hardware that users already own, such as mobile devices. Technologies like ARCore present new opportunities for delivering AR experiences to millions of users. With this SDK, developers can use Unity to easily create new high-performance AR Android Apps or upgrade existing apps with exciting AR functionality.

ARCore Features

ARCore unlocks an entirely new set of features for mobile development: creating virtual objects, rendered over real world views, that connect information directly to real world objects and react as if physically there.

  • Environmental understanding. Allows virtual objects to be placed in a way that physically connects with the real world.
  • Motion Tracking. Allows users to walk around and interact with virtual content that is rendered in the 3D world.
  • Light Estimation. Create realistic looking objects by having its own light change dynamically according to the environment lighting.

Getting Started with ARCore

The SDK currently supports development for Google Pixel or Pixel XL, and Samsung Galaxy S8 running Android 7.0 Nougat and above. It requires Unity version 2017.2 beta 9 or later and Android API SDK v.24 or later.

To set up the SDK, follow these steps:

We can’t wait to see the amazing experiences that our development community produces with ARCore.

Join the discussion on our forum to be a part of this exciting new frontier in AR!

Download the ARCore SDK Preview Now!

28 replies on “AR comes to Android with the ARCore SDK”

And only 3 phones in preview which is sad… The most of small studios and independent developers will be unable to participate in early development. Android is clearly loosing this battle with iOS because of OS fragmentation and incompatibility. We have 6 android devices right now and it’s still not enough to make sure it will work on all phones with targeted android version. Now I’m forced to buy another expensive device, or wait for update which will probably never come to any phone with lower version than Nougat. There are plenty devices with enough CPU power to run tracking algorithms, but they will never get update with ARCore. And people won’t buy another phone just for new fancy feature. As developers we need hundreds of thousands downloads to make revenue, not a handful of geeks with new expensive phones. With one iOS device (iPhone 6) I can be sure that our apps will work on any apple device with the same system. I can invest in ARKit, because I know that soon about half billion devices will be able to run it. What about ARCore? Is it even worth to invest money in app that will run on 2% devices? We need AT LEAST an list of phones that will get ARCore in the future. Without it I’m not sure if it’s even worth it.

Just three devices are supported: Google Pixel, Pixel XL, and Samsung Galaxy S8 running Android 7.0 Nougat and above. That’s a bummer. :(
What about other devices running Nougat like Galaxy S7?

@Juande While it is entirely possible, that the sensors fall short (that’s why the Gear VR has additional sensors, with the side-effect of blocking the USB port, after all), I don’t get why Google was so strict about Daydream.

Official certification didn’t work out (conflict of interest with the manufaturers), so it didn’t take off.

I really hope that this time they go the route of “feel free to try, we just tel you every time, that it isn’t officially supported”. It will be at least 1.5 years before I’m buying another phone, likely more. So if the apps release and I can’t use them, my interest will have died before I even get to try it. If on the other hand I get to try it, but it falls short due to hardware limitations, it keeps the interest active and might result in an earlier hardware upgrade*. Win-Win for Google and manufacturer.

* That was the effect using Pokemon Go on a device without accelerometer had for me.

It depends what you’re trying to do. Vuforia is more focussed on tracking images and objects and is cross-platform. They’ve also announced that they will support ARCore and ARKit – and currently support Hololens, Tango and other HMDs.

So it’s not an either/or decision. You can use ARCore and Vuforia together –

Have been hunting round for the codebase to do this – ideally to use vuforia to identify the tracking object, then spawn an object using arcore at that position. Then I don’t have to worry about keeping some of the detail from the object in view.

Still looking…

Just dreaming with a Day that unity become with hes on solution for AR/MR that works with ios,android and highend pc with broadcast camera, will be a industry changer.
High quality tracking using High resolution image with high end processor for state of art Graphics!!

Is this expected to be rolled out to a wide variety of existing android devices or just newer devices? I’ve got a Note 5 and want to play around with AR Core.

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