ARReferenceImage in ARKit and Augmented Images in ARCore are capable of recognizing and superimposing 2D virtual images over original images in real-time, which presents a variety of business use-cases to AR developers.
One of them is using marker-based AR for indoor navigation. Having detected and recognized a visual marker placed on a floor surface or a wall with the help of ARKit or ARCore, the app then draws a virtual route, helping a visitor with wayfinding at the airports or shopping malls.
See Also:Top Augmented Reality SDKs for Developers
Another application of the features is to impose virtual content on business cards, brochures, or billboards for marketing purposes.
What Is Better – ARKit or ARCore?
End-users are the ultimate decision-makers when it comes to which technology dominates. In 2019, ARKit was deployed across 650 million devices while there were around 400 million ARCore-enabled devices.
As of May 2020, there is still a lag in ARCore development. ARKit yields 4,000+ results in the GitHub repository in comparison to ARCore’s 1,400+.
Comparing ARKit and ARCore
There are similarities between these tools: both are Unity framework-compatible; both are similar in the capability of sensing changes in lighting and accessing motion sensors. These factors place the tools on equal footing when it comes to understanding physical environments.
However, ARCore pulls ahead of ARKit when it comes to mapping. ARCore’s larger mapping dataset increases the speed and quality of mapping that is achieved through the collection and storage of 3D environment information. ARKit does not store the same amount of local condition data and information. Instead, it uses a “sliding window” method that stores only recently experienced data. But, the ARWorldMap feature appeared in ARKit 2 smoothed this difference.
In terms of speed and accuracy of image superimposition, end-users are still confined to the limitations of their chosen devices. Due to the TrueDepth Camera, iOS devices are often superior to software-driven Android-based devices.
ARKit pulls ahead of ARCore when it comes to recognition and augmentation. This can be seen in the side-by-side comparison captured in the video below.
A user watches as the Mona Lisa painting is replaced by a virtual image that blinks. The virtual image uses movement and user-engagement when the user taps on the image.
An end-user employing ARKit technology has a superior user experience than the ARCore user. Their image is smoother and replicates the original in a more realistic manner. Real-time imaging is also improved, as can be witnessed when the user moves their phone.
Choosing the Platform
Both technologies are still in development. The push-and-pull to the finish line is still underway. End-users have yet to pick one platform and stick with it. When choosing a platform for your business, it is wise to employ both tools so that end-users can engage using a multitude of devices.
See Also:Nreal Announces Dev Kit Bundle, Partnership, and New MR Game
Andrew is a big fan of technology and innovations. He is responsible for mobile app development at MobiDev (USA/Ukraine) and integration of innovative technologies into custom software products. He is a speaker at tech conferences MobileTechCon, DevFest, SmallBusinessExpo, Webinale, and a contributor to tech blogs.
GamesBeat’s creed when covering the game industry is “where passion meets business.” What does this mean? We want to tell you how the news matters to you — not just as a decision-maker at a game studio, but also as a fan of games. Whether you read our articles, listen to our podcasts, or watch our videos, GamesBeat will help you learn about the industry and enjoy engaging with it.How will you do that? Membership includes access to:
Newsletters, such as DeanBeat
The wonderful, educational, and fun speakers at our events
Special members-only interviews, chats, and “open office” events with GamesBeat staff
Chatting with community members, GamesBeat staff, and other guests in our Discord
Solaris: Offworld Combat is coming to PSVR this June with a physical release from Perp Games. According to a First Contact Entertainment representative, the digital version is planned to release a month earlier in May.
Perp Games on Twitter: “We’re not finished just yet. Solaris Offworld Combat is the next game to be getting a physical box release. Coming in June to global markets! Will you be buying it? https://t.co/5sphrqsh10” / Twitter
Solaris: Offworld Combat on PSVR
Originally, Solaris was coming to PSVR late last year around the same time as the Quest and PC VR version of the game but got delayed. Now, it’s slated for release in just a couple of months.
The latest VR shooter from First Contact Entertainment (creators of Firewall Zero Hour) is a sci-fi competitive VR shooter that feels a bit like Quake in VR due to its speed and intense arena levels. It’s a very breezy, fast-paced game that’s accessible and easy to quickly jump in and out of. The closest comparison is probably Hyper Dash.
Soalris is a notable release because other than Firewall Zero Hour, there really haven’t been many options for shooter fans on PSVR. Alvo is coming soon too, but the headset is on its last legs at this point.
The PS Aim Controller continues to be one of the best things about the PSVR platform, so I’m all for seeing more games support it, but it’s a shame games like this didn’t hit PSVR earlier in its life cycle. Hopefully PSVR 2 on PS5 is backwards compatible and it can give late-life cycle games like this one new life when it releases.
Solaris is coming to PSVR very soon with a planned digital release in May and physical release from Perp Games in June. For more on this game make sure and read our Solaris: Offworld Combat review and stay tuned for all the latest in VR.
The VR fitness genre is still relatively new, all things considered. Even though the space is still somewhat niche, it’s absolutely growing at a fast pace as seen by the number of games and players that continue to spring up. How did we get to this point though, you might ask?
Microsoft won a large US Army contract to supply advanced AR headsets for frontline soldiers, based on the HoloLens platform.
The US Army’s Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) program aims to equip infantry with AR helmets for situational awareness and convenient display of sensor outputs.
The contract is worth up to $21.88 billion over 5-10 years. While the order has been widely reported as 120,000 units, a US Army statement to Breaking Defence suggests that is the maximum, not a fixed quantity.
Early evaluation units based on HoloLens 2
In 2018 Microsoft won the $480 million evaluation contract for just over 2500 units, based on HoloLens 2 with some modifications and an extra sensor.
The current, ruggedized, upgraded IVAS
The evaluation found the hardware not rugged enough for military use, and identified problems with the sensors at night. Since then the hardware has been significantly upgraded. It’s more ruggedized and houses many more sensors.
The field of view has been significantly increased from roughly 40°x30° to 80°x40°. That’s significantly wider than any other see-through AR headset on the market.
Reported use cases for the headset include:
overlaying icons on friendly units, objectives, threats, and points of interest
built-in night vision & thermal view modes
live picture-in-picture feeds from drones, including the Soldier Borne Sensors (SBS) personal drone
simulated weapons & enemies for training exercises
scanning nearby people for high temperature (COVID-19)
facial recognition for hostage rescue situations
The Army is also testing integrations with vehicles, such as soldiers being able to see-through the walls of the armored vehicle carrying them. That means on dismounting they’ll be situationally aware.
Some Microsoft employees have protested providing technology for the military, but that’s unlikely to have any effect given the enormous potential value of the contract.
IVAS is still in the late testing & evaluation stage, and the scale of deployment will depend on future budgets. But if things go to plan, frontline soldiers could be equipped with these game-changing AR capabilities by the end of the decade.