Merely three months after its original launch, Google’s new Augmented Reality platform, ARCore is already getting a major update. At its annual I/O developer conference, the company introduced ARCore 1.2 which brings a handful of new, advanced tools for developers to enable AR features like multiplayer games, better positioning, and a way for applications to bring real-world objects to life.
Let’s start with the last one first. It’s called “Augmented Images” and through it, developers can essentially link up to a thousand 2D images with an AR animation (watch the video embedded at the end). Therefore, when you point your phone’s camera to any of them, the app will recognize it and do things like show assembly instructions for that product.
The other key highlight of ARCore 1.2 is “Cloud Anchors”. With that, multiple devices running the same AR application will be able to sync what they’re looking at and share information about the user’s interactions. This essentially will allow developers to build AR multiplayer games such as a virtual tic-tac-toe board. This feature surprisingly is also compatible with iPhones in addition to Android phones.
ARCore 1.2 also brings support for vertical plane detection so that AR objects can be attached to walls as well as horizontal surfaces. Lastly, there’s a new SDK known as “Sceneform” which will make it easier for Java developers to build AR scenes without having to learn OpenGL. ARCore 1.2 is available starting today for developers to try out and requires at least Android Nougat running on your phone.