So Google's just released ARCore in response to Apple (somewhat surprisingly) capturing the lead for hearts and minds in the AR space with ARKit, I believe there will be a sudden explosion of great AR apps. But I also believe it will be an explosion we won't necessarily notice.
The thing is, AR has been around for a while now and is definitely part of the mainstream with thanks in part to Pokémon Go, Snapchat, and Facebook. The awareness part is covered.
Now that both Google and Apple are empowering developers everywhere with toolkits that would allow for compelling and convincing AR to hundreds of millions of devices, app makers can focus more on making the experience work, rather than the tech. AR won't really be a thing anymore - it will simply be.
Kinda like how we don't really mention the camera when we use Snapchat or Instagram; you use these apps to take and share photos, the camera bit is implied.
And, in some ways, we're already there. As another example with the same apps, try explaining Snapchat or Instagram/FB filters/lenses to a digital caveman:
- "It lets you turn your face into a cat face"
- "Using AR, duh"
But I'm imagining a very near future of AR being an invisible default to doing things. So whilst this means AR tech won't be the main selling point anymore, it could also mean not embracing AR will be like not having an email address; because what's more amazing: knowing someone with an email address or knowing someone without one?
But just this morning, Google announced something called ARCore, its equivalent to Apple’s ARKit. It’s a built-in AR platform for app makers, and is available now on Google Pixel and Samsung Galaxy 8 phones, with the hopes that it will run on 100 million phones by this winter. This could expand the community for Google AR apps significantly, and The Verge’s Adi Robertson says that the controlled ARCore demo she had at Google’s offices was “one of the best experiences I’ve had with phone-based AR.” Google is also working on two experimental AR web browsers, one that will use ARCore and one that will run on iOS and support ARKit.