What’s Google up to?
Of all the companies working hard on augmented reality, Google has been more prolific than most. You’ve probably heard of Google Glass, one of its previous efforts. This involved a pair of AR-enabled glasses that were designed to overlay information on top of your everyday vision as you walked around. They’ve not been short of controversy, though, with many people questioning the privacy implications of a device that can film people without their permission, or even their knowledge. Glass has also been criticised for its apparent safety issues, such as distracting motorists while they are driving.
Glass has since been put on the backburner and refocused on the enterprise market, but Google hasn’t given up on AR. After a stumbling start with Project Tango, Google seems to have adopted Apple’s approach of creating an augmented reality framework that relies on a phone’s existing hardware. ARCore is the result of that rethink, and is reportedly an impressive piece of software. It won’t fully release until the winter so we’ll have to withhold judgement until then, but it could teach us new things about what’s capable with AR – provided more Android manufacturers get on board than did with Project Tango.
Just like Apple, Google has tremendous financial resources with which to develop its AR efforts. No doubt we’ll be seeing plenty of new work from Google as the industry hots up.