ARCore is a SDK for Android developers to build AR experiences for Android phones — a software only solution bringing much of the power of Tango without the extra cameras and sensors required of Tango enabled phones.
The ARCore SDK is available to be run on the Google Pixel (running Oreo) and Samsung’s Galaxy S8 (running at least 7.0 Nougat,)
According to a press release Google is looking to "democratize" AR through severalcore principles.
- Motion tracking: Using the phone’s camera to observe feature points in the room and IMU sensor data, ARCore determines both the position and orientation (pose) of the phone as it moves. Virtual objects remain accurately placed.
- Environmental understanding: It is common for AR objects to be placed on a floor or a table. ARCore can detect horizontal surfaces using the same feature points it uses for motion tracking.
- Light estimation: ARCore observes the ambient light in the environment and makes it possible for developers to light virtual objects in ways that match their surroundings, making their appearance even more realistic.