The Augmented Reality Showdown between Apple and Google
The competition between Google and Apple in augmented reality is getting stiffer and stiffer as more developments in AR emerge. Since the launch of Pokémon Go in July 2016, more companies have gained interest in augmented reality and seen the potential it has. The game saw players go to restaurants, streets, parks and several other places in search of Pidgies and Caterpies and other Pokémon Go characters.
Is Augmented Reality Just a Fad?
The Pokémon Go craze in the US and the rest of the world has given phone-based AR a big boost and thanks to it, both android and iOS device users are looking forward to the development of more augmented reality applications. While many thought it was just a fad that would soon be forgotten, it has become clear that augmented reality is much more than a fad and that it is here to stay.According to industry analysts, Apple is expected to make about $3 billion over the course of 2 years from Pokémon Go through the sale of PokéCoins on the Apple app store. The augmented reality market is expected to grow to about $20 billion within the next 3 years.
Google’s ARCore and Apple’s ARKit
Google recently announced that it is developing a system that will facilitate the development of AR applications for android devices. The system is known as ARCore and will be launched on Google’s Pixel phone and the Samsung Galaxy S8 first. The release date is still unknown but Google hopes to make it available to 100 million users at the very least. This announcement came barely 3 months after Apple’s announcement of ARKit, which is very much similar to ARCore and which is expected to be released by the end of this year. In its announcement, Apple also mentioned that it would make the system available to hundreds of millions of users. The cutthroat competition between the two giants is very evident and it will be up to app developers and customers to decide which system is better of the two.
ARKit will be able to work with all iOS devices that can run iOS 11, which will also be rolled out by the end of this year. The fact that these include some of the older iOS devices such as the iPhone 6s, which does not have two cameras like the newer models, will greatly limit the type of images that users will be able to view on their devices. This is one of the compromises that Apple has had to make to ensure that more of its customers can use the technology as soon as it is launched.
Google faced the same challenge and tried to overcome it by using Tango, an AR system which uses depth sensors. However, this did not work as only two types of phones support Tango. ARCore works on more phones, and this is the AR system that Google will use. Another challenge that Google faces is the fact that there are many manufacturers of Android devices. This is unlike Apple, which only has to develop a system that works with the iPhone since it has control over both the hardware and the software used. In fact, ARKit is said to be very accurate despite the fact that iOS devices lack depth sensors. A possible solution for Google will be to have android phone manufacturers use specific parts for the phone cameras so that the system can work for all the different types of phones.
With the growing popularity of AR and the numerous advancements in the field, it is expected to go beyond just mobile devices. In the future, car windshields and eyeglasses among other surfaces will also be able to superimpose digital images on the user’s real world view. Its use will extend into several industries and even online trading sites such as CMC Markets will benefit from it in one way or another. According to Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple Inc., AR is definitely the future of the technology industry and it is here to stay. It might have started out slow and with a bit of uncertainty but it is now clear that it’s all systems go. Google and Apple have set the ball rolling and other tech companies are expected to follow suit.