Google updating ARCore and Google Lens

One of the coolest things to show off to people about the Pixel 2 device has been the neat things it does with the camera.  Especially, the AR objects you can put there.  And it's going to get better it looks like.  Today, they're announcing updates to the ARCore and Google Lens.

Google Lens is the ability for Google to analyse the image.  Essentially, a suped up version of "Google Goggles", but until now it's been limited to the Pixel devices.  It looks like it's now going to go wider.

ARCore is the service that allows the placement of Augmented Reality 'objects' within the camera app.  It's allowed me to take pictures of my son with Storm Trooper or petting a porg.

The new update will allow the SDK to work for more devices working just as well.  We've seen AR used in apps like Pokemon Go already, but it looks like they'll be able to use Google's ARCore, and other developers.


More details are located here:
Announcing ARCore 1.0 and new updates to Google Lens
Anuj Gosalia, Director of Engineering, AR

With ARCore and Google Lens, we’re working to make smartphone cameras smarter. ARCore enables developers to build apps that can understand your environment and place objects and information in it. Google Lens uses your camera to help make sense of what you see, whether that’s automatically creating contact information from a business card before you lose it, or soon being able to identify the breed of a cute dog you saw in the park. At Mobile World Congress, we're launching ARCore 1.0 along with new support for developers, and we’re releasing updates for Lens and rolling it out to more people.

ARCore, Google’s augmented reality SDK for Android, is out of preview and launching as version 1.0. Developers can now publish AR apps to the Play Store, and it’s a great time to start building. ARCore works on 100 million Android smartphones, and advanced AR capabilities are available on all of these devices. It works on 13 different models right now (Google’s Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL; Samsung’s Galaxy S8, S8+, Note8, S7 and S7 edge; LGE’s V30 and V30+ (Android O only); ASUS’s Zenfone AR; and OnePlus’s OnePlus 5). And beyond those available today, we’re partnering with many manufacturers to enable their upcoming devices this year, including Samsung, Huawei, LGE, Motorola, ASUS, Xiaomi, HMD/Nokia, ZTE, Sony Mobile, and Vivo.

Making ARCore work on more devices is only part of the equation. We’re bringing developers additional improvements and support to make their AR development process faster and easier. ARCore 1.0 features improved environmental understanding that enables users to place virtual assets on any textured surfaces like posters, furniture, toy boxes, books, cans and more. Android Studio 3.1 Beta now supports ARCore in the Emulator, so you can quickly test your app in a virtual environment right from your desktop.

Everyone should get to experience augmented reality, so we’re working to bring it to people everywhere, including China. We’ll be supporting ARCore in China on partner devices sold there— right now, that’s Huawei and Xiaomi —to enable them to distribute AR apps through their app stores.

We’ve partnered with a few great developers to showcase how they're planning to use AR in their apps. Snapchat has created an immersive experience that invites you into a “portal”—in this case, FC Barcelona’s legendary Camp Nou stadium. Visualize different room interiors inside your home with Sotheby’s International Realty. See Porsche’s Mission E Concept vehicle right in your driveway, and explore how it works. With OTTO AR, choose pieces from an exclusive set of furniture and place them, true to scale, in a room. Sony's Ghostbusters World, based on the film franchise, is coming soon. In China, place furniture and over 100,000 other pieces with Easyhome Homestyler, see whether a refrigerator has the right features and fits in a designated space with an app from, or play games from NetEase.

With Google Lens, your phone’s camera can help you understand the environment around you. In the coming weeks, we’re expanding availability of the Google Lens preview, so that, when you take a picture, you can get more information about what’s in your photo. Lens will roll out to all Google Photos English-language users with the latest version of the app on Android and iOS 9 and newer. Also over the coming weeks, users on compatible flagship devices from Samsung, Huawei, LG, Motorola, Sony, and HMD/Nokia will get the live camera-based Lens experience within the Google Assistant. This update will be available for English-language users in the UK, US, Canada, Germany, Australia, India, France, Italy, Spain and Singapore.

And while it’s still an early preview, we’ve continued to make improvements to Google Lens. Since launch, we’ve added text selection features, the ability to create contacts and events from a photo in one tap, and—in the coming weeks—improved support for recognizing common animals and plants, like different dog breeds and flowers.

Smarter cameras will enable our smartphones to do more. With ARCore 1.0, developers can start building delightful and helpful AR experiences for them right now. And Lens, powered by AI and computer vision, makes it easier to act on information in the world around us. As these technologies continue to grow, we'll see more ways that they can help people have fun and get more done on their phones.

Assets, Demos, and Visuals

If you'd like to check out some of the first experiences built with ARCore from our partners (like Snapchat, Sotheby's International Reality, Porsche, and more), please check out our asset folder of videos: HERE

Screenshots of Lens are coming soon and will be updated there. 

Additional information on the Snapchat / ARCore experience
·  Google, Snapchat, and FC Barcelona have collaborated on a newSnapchat experience that let's anyone experience what it's like to be on the field at the legendary Camp Nou. 
·  This combines Snapchat's core technology with Google ARCore to create a Camp Nou augmented reality experience that invites Snapchatters into a “portal” that they can physically walk around and explore -- in this case, the legendary Camp Nou stadium.  
·  A user simply needs to walk towards the “entrance” of the portal and immediately, the Snapchatter will be transported to Camp Nou! Once “inside”, they can physically walk around to explore the field while also moving their phone around to see what’s all around them -- as if they were really standing on the field. ARCore together with Snap's Lens engine enables this 6DOF experience.
·  This demo version will be shown at MWC. In mid-March, this experience will be made broadly available to all Snapchatters globally, on any Snapchat compatible device, through Snapcodes.
·  Eitan Pilipski, VP Camera Platform at Snap Inc. – “Through this collaboration, we’ve built a Lens experience that is totally immersive and unique, transporting Snapchatters onto FC Barcelona's legendary Camp Nou. The Snapchat community sees our camera an entry point to exploration, and we’re thrilled to be working with partners like Google to push our Lens product even further forward with the latest technologies available and bring to life a perspective that fans may never otherwise experience or explore.