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Samsung Partners With Google For ARCore Augmented Reality

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelance and long standing contributor to TechWeek Europe

Google to bring its ARCore platform to Galaxy devices thanks to augmented reality deal with Samsung

Samsung has revealed that it has partnered Google, in order to bring its ARCore platform to Galaxy devices.

The fact that the ARCore framework will be available on Samsung mobile devices is a large step forward in pushing augmented reality (AR) into the wider consumer market.

Samsung of course already competes heavily in the virtual reality environment with its Samsung Gear VR headsets.

samsung-gear-vr-phonesGoogle Partnership

Samsung said the partnership deal with Google will allow it to “deliver the promise of AR” to its mobile users.

“Augmented reality has introduced a new experience by bridging our digital and physical worlds,” the firm said. “During the Samsung Developer Conference (SDC 2017), we shared our vision for the rapidly evolving AR landscape through our partnership with Google to extend the ARCore platform to more Galaxy devices (S8, S8+ and Note 8) bringing the best AR experiences to our users.”

“While this is driven by the strengths of our mobile devices, we believe the future of AR will extend beyond the smartphone as we apply advances in machine learning and computer vision to move from recording the world to understanding it,” the company said.

Samsung pointed to the dual-pixel sensors and advanced optics of its cameras, and said that by adding machine learning and computer vision to the equation, it could transform the camera “into a means of comprehending and contextualising the world quickly and accurately recognising the people, places and things in front of them.”

It said that when it introduced Bixby Vision earlier this year, Samsung was able to expand its AR capabilities.

“Bixby Vision offers a new way to understand the world, seamlessly integrated into your smartphone camera,” said Samsung.

“It provides a better understanding of the world through objects, scenes and text. Using the camera app and photo gallery, Bixby Vision uses a hybrid deep learning system that allows it to run on both the device and in the cloud, so it can better identify objects and provide new ways of understanding and engaging with the world around you.”

Samsung, like other tech firms such as Apple and Microsoft, believe that augmented reality will make a powerful impact on the consumer market, and will deliver to users “a powerful new experience in their daily lives.”

“Imagine the possibilities beyond gaming and entertainment,” said Samsung. “Municipalities can install digital signposts which overlay directions for visiting tourists. Businesses have the potential to train new employees on safety procedures for new machines and equipment with virtual guides. The opportunities are endless.”

Big Win

The decision by Samsung is a big win for Google’s ARCore, which is competing directly against Apple’s ARKit.

In August, Google released a preview of its new software development kit (SDK) for AR.

The ARCore development kit builds on an earlier project called Tango. But where Tango required a device to be built to particular specifications, Google is planning to roll out ARCore and its accompanying applications to existing handsets as well as future devices.

ARCore runs on Google’s own Pixel and Samsung’s S8 handsets running version 7.0 of the Android operating system (‘Nougat’) or later.

Google said it wants the platform to be compatible with 100 million devices by the end of the SDK preview, and said it’s working with Samsung, Huawei, LG, ASUS and other manufacturers.

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