Google has switched tack in its effort to popularise augmented reality (AR) on Android by moving away from a requirement for devices to be fitted with special depth sensors.
Instead, it is building software for developers to help them mix graphics with real-world views using common camera and motion-tracking hardware.
The rethink brings it in line with rival Apple’s mixed-reality strategy.
By coincidence, Apple has just unveiled several in-development AR apps for iOS.
- The Walking Dead: Our World – a zombie-themed video game in which players battle with the undead in real-world locations
- Ikea Place – an app that allows the furniture store’s products to be seen over views of rooms in the owner’s home
- Giphy World Babysitter – software that superimposes a thumbs-up or “not OK” sign over food it is shown in order to let carers know if it is suitable for infants
- The Very Hungry Caterpillar in AR – a mixed-reality version of the children’s tale that allows youngsters to see the herbivore walk around their surroundings before transforming into a butterfly and taking to the sky
All of the third-party apps have been developed since Apple unveiled its ARKit software at its WWDC developers conference 12 weeks ago.