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Hence, the Mountain View-based tech firm has announced ARCore, a new software for developers to build AR apps on Android.

ARCore would be available for Galaxy S8 users and Google's Pixel Phone.

In an interview with The Verge, Google's head of augmented reality and virtual reality, Clay Bavor, suggested that "I think Tango fades into the background as more an enabling technology that kind of works behind the scenes".

Burke said the company is also experimenting with AR-enabled web browser prototypes and plans to release them to developers.

However, unlike ARCore, that platform relied on purpose-built hardware with specialized sensors created to measure the distance of objects in the physical world - sensors that most phones and tablets lack.

ARCore is also able to detect horizontal surfaces using the same feature points used for motion tracking.

ARCore is meant to put AR creations right in front of you, similar to how digital pocket monsters appear in the popular AR game Pokémon GO.

Google said it wants the platform to be compatible with 100 million devices by the end of the SDK preview, and said it's working with Samsung, Huawei, LG, ASUS and other manufacturers.

Google on Tuesday unveiled ARCore, its answer to iOS 11's ARKit.

ARCore is created to work on millions of existing Android devices and does not require special depth sensors or dual cameras. You see, while virtual reality immerses you into a space, replacing everything you see in a physical world, AR takes the world around you and adds virtual objects over it. ARCore is expected to eventually run on "millions of devices".

Google's latest Android initiative will only make the iPhone shine even more when it comes to offering users access to mixed reality experiences. Many tech leaders envision a future in which eyeglasses, auto windshields and other surfaces can overlay digital information on the real world. ARCore uses Java/OpenGL, Unity and Unreal engines for motion tracking and environmental understanding to place virtual objects accurately, and light estimation, to ensure virtual objects match their surroundings, Burke noted.

While the potential applications for AR are encouraging the development of other devices such as smart glasses, the market dominance of mobile devices has seen Apple and Google commit to developing apps which would be usable on phones.

The company will release more statements about the ARCore later this year. Tango is Google's previous AR-focused effort, which requires a host of dedicated hardware on handsets that support it.


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