What Are the ARCore and ARKit Augmented Reality Frameworks?

ARCore and ARKit are Google and Apple’s respective Augmented Reality frameworks for bringing more AR apps to their platforms. They use the smartphone’s camera to add interactive elements to an existing environment.

What is Augmented Reality?

Augmented Reality—generally abbreviated as “AR”—is a real world view that has been augmented digitally to add interactive elements or otherwise change visual perception.

In simpler terms, Augmented Reality adds computer generated elements to your environment, which you can see through a hardware layer—like your smartphone’s camera. While AR used to require a headset or some other form of visual in-between, that is no longer necessary.

The most popular and well-known use of AR to date is probably Niantic’s Pokemon Go. It uses a smartphone’s camera to see the general area, then uses AR to add Pokemon to the environment.

But Pokemon Go was ahead of the curve, as it was released before Google and Apple built their respective Augmented Reality frameworks. In other words: as cool as it was at the time, it wasn’t able to take advantage of the tools that are now available on Android and iOS.

What are ARCore and ARKit?

ARCore is Android’s AR framework, while ARKit is the same thing for Apple’s iOS. These frameworks let developers tap into advanced AR tools to allow for a better, more immersive, and otherwise realistic AR experience.

For example, using these tools, developers can add things like advanced motion tracking to their AR apps, which allows devices to better understand their relationship to the environment. Similarly, tools like ARCore and ARKit let phones judge the size and position of things like tables and chairs for a more realistic feel in any given environment.

Google describes ARCore like this:

Fundamentally, ARCore is doing two things: tracking the position of the mobile device as it moves, and building its own understanding of the…

Sasha Harriet

Sasha Harriet

As content editor, I get to do what I love everyday. Tweet, share and promote the best content our tools find on a daily basis.

I have a crazy passion for #music, #celebrity #news & #fashion! I'm always out and about on Twitter.
Sasha Harriet

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