ARCore

Google brings its ARCore technology to China in partnership with Xiaomi

Posted by | Android, Apps, ARCore, Asia, Beijing, China, Google, Google Play Store, HTC, huawei, miui, Tencent, Xiaomi | No Comments

Google is ramping up its efforts to return to China. Earlier this year, the search giant detailed plans to bring its ARCore technology — which enables augmented reality and virtual reality — to phones in China and this week that effort went live with its first partner, Xiaomi.

Initially the technology will be available for Xiaomi’s Mix 2S devices via an app in the Xiaomi App Store, but Google has plans to add more partners in Mainland China over time. Huawei and Samsung are two confirmed names that have signed up to distribute ARCore apps on Chinese soil, Google said previously.

Starting today, #ARCore apps are available on Mix 2S devices from the Xiaomi App Store in China. More partners coming soon → https://t.co/16QoOTgqve pic.twitter.com/lT4TYXrzwF

— Google AR & VR (@GoogleARVR) May 28, 2018

Google’s core services remain blocked in China but ARCore apps are able to work there because the technology itself works on device without the cloud, which means that once apps are downloaded to a phone there’s nothing that China’s internet censors can do to disrupt them.

Rather than software, the main challenge is distribution. The Google Play Store is restricted in China, and in its place China has a fragmented landscape that consists of more than a dozen major third-party Android app stores. That explains why Google has struck deals with the likes of Xiaomi and Huawei, which operate their own app stores which — pre-loaded on their devices — can help Google reach consumers.

ARCore in action

The ARCore strategy for China, while subtle, is part of a sustained push to grow Google’s presence in China. While that hasn’t meant reviving the Google Play Store — despite plenty of speculation in the media — Google has ramped up in other areas.

In recent months, the company has struck a partnership with Tencent, agreed to invest in a number of China-based startups — including biotech-focused XtalPi and live-streaming service Chushou — and announced an AI lab in Beijing. Added to that, Google gained a large tech presence in Taiwan via the completion of its acquisition of a chunk of HTC, and it opened a presence in Shenzhen, the Chinese city known as ‘the Silicon Valley of hardware.’

Finally, it is also hosting its first ‘Demo Day’ program for startups in Asia with an event planned for Shanghai, China, this coming September. Applications to take part in the initiative opened last week.

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Can Ghostbusters copy Pokémon GO’s success with its own AR mobile game?

Posted by | ARCore, augmented reality, Gaming, Ghostbusters, Pokémon Go, TC | No Comments

 You’ll soon be able to trap Ghostbusters ghosts in augmented reality à la Pokémon GO. A short demo of the game Ghostbusters World was showcased at Google’s MWC booth, highlighting functionality made possible by the public release of Google’s ARCore augmented reality platform. Details are pretty slim for a wide release date other than it’s “coming 2018.” Read More

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Why ARKit will make more money than ARCore or Camera Effects (for now)

Posted by | Android, Apple, ARCore, ARkit, camera effects, China, Column, Facebook, Google | No Comments

 After the iPhone X, iPhone 8 and ARKit launches, it’s clearer than ever that Apple owns the four waves of augmented reality. But Google’s launch of ARCore has the startup CEOs, corporates and VCs Digi-Capital works with confused (not to mention Facebook Camera Effects). While there are technical/performance differences between the platforms, they’re more alike than different… Read More

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Trying out Google’s ‘Stranger Things’ AR stickers on the new Pixel 2

Posted by | AR, ARCore, augmented reality, Gadgets, Google, Google Hardware Event 2017, Media, PIXEL, Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, TC | No Comments

 Google has new AR stickers coming to its Pixel devices, with rollout set to begin later this year. They use Google’s ARCore, which is designed as an easy way for Android developers to bring augmented reality experiences to device users. The AR stickers are built right into the camera app on the Pixel (when they make their way out via software update) and they can be selected like any… Read More

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