Recently, apple and Google have launched a new AR augmented reality development toolkit, designed to help developers create easier AR applications for mobile devices.
Among them, Apple's development platform framework named ARKit, this month when iOS 11 formally launched, there will be hundreds of millions of scale iPhone benefit. And Google's development platform for ARCore, the current Android 7 Nougat or the latest version of the system, Pixel and Samsung S8 smart phones have been able to support ARCore. Google thinks ARCore is one of the results of Tango mobile AR technology three years ago, but it actually means "substitution".
Both apple and Google, these moves show that the two giants want to lead the mobile phone AR to enhance the reality of the experience changes. Perhaps when it comes to AR, most people may also think of the Microsoft MR for mixed reality in the field of HoloLens project, but the project has not yet been formally commercial, from the real to the consumers still have a long distance, and has no plans to enter the mobile field. So, in the AR mobile revolution, is apple or Google finally laughing?
AR is now known by many mobile phone users
AR augmented reality technology, and most people who are concerned with technology should be aware of it. In short, that is, the virtual content and the real scene fusion, that is, the digital objects and the surrounding environment of information fusion, beyond the screen rules and regulations. The mobile phone industry has long existed AR, among them the most distinctive example is Nintendo's "Pokemon Go", through the camera allows players to see a lot of live in the real world of Pocket Monster.
Maybe a lot of people the impression of the Microsoft demonstrated HoloLens more deeply, this equipment provides a very advanced AR technology, so you can play "my world" on the coffee table, or set up 3D model on the desk. AR is the most basic hardware must include camera, strong processor and mobile sensor, through tracking the dynamic camera chip data processing on the environment of understanding, using the sensor of light assessment and so on a series of operations, to ensure that the 3D virtual objects through the screen can see the living in the real world.
With Apple's propaganda, integrated into the intelligent mobile phone AR, once the AR virtual content attractions, users can directly through the AR virtual content of the app in a whole new way to interact with the real world. Thus derived shopping, industrial design and other app, as well as focus on interactive game experience app, the use of these AR based app, you can feel very immersive, immersive experience.The most basic AR application scenario (opening the AR ruler for the iPhone test):
Most of the views in the industry are of the view that AR augmented reality market is currently has a greater growth potential than the VR virtual reality market, because the application of AR enhancement is more abundant than the VR virtual reality software application scenarios, and VR in a certain extent limit the user's visual experience, and mainly for gaming and entertainment.
According to Digi-Capital's estimate report, by 2021, the AR augmented reality market will reach $83 billion, while the VR virtual reality market is worth only $25 billion. MarketsandMarkets, another research firm, predicts that by 2022, the total size of AR and VR will reach $151 billion, becoming mainstream. As a result, collisions between Google and apple in the AR world are inevitable.
Google has chosen a more difficult path
In fact, many years ago, Google discovered AR augmented reality technology potential, it can be said that in the AR augmented reality areas fought for a long time, this is the 2013 Google launched one of the reasons Google Glass smart glasses. Unfortunately, the Google Glass was eventually considered a gimmick, because at this stage, the glasses were too advanced, or beaten by clumsy looks and privacy.
The factors about failure is not pointed out that Google's ambitious, hope to be able to meet people of all daily use, but the technology may need longer life time, and image recognition and can handle large amounts of data, Google Glass even more awkward appearance into more hardware, it is always difficult to meet. At the same time, Google Glass also rebuffed public privacy, who do not want to see a day with a camera around and shoot people, normal social places including bars and restaurants banned, claimed that the harm to society.
Of course, the pricing factor was also the cause of the failure of the Google Glass, so in 2015 Google discontinued the project until new versions were reintroduced to corporate users in recent years. To this end, Google also acquired part of the stake in Himax, a Taiwan chipmaker, aimed at supplying LCOS (LCD) chips. At the same time, Google also invested in a mysterious AR enhanced display technology company Magic Leap, but this company is considered only gimmicks, and even behind technology in Microsoft.
More than Google Glass, Google also launched the Project Tango project for the AR field in 2014. However, graphics and video processing performance is an important part of the Tango project, a prototype was crowded with multiple sensors and cameras, including fisheye lens, RGB color sensor, infrared camera and laser scanner and so on, the hardware of specialized equipment is very important. In order to achieve this goal, Android mobile phone manufacturers have had a rather exaggerated hardware upgrade, and only Lenovo and HUAWEI are willing to cooperate with Google to launch equipment.
ARCore is different, is widely considered to be Google re positioning and adjustment of the major breakthrough in the field of mobile AR, because without the user to update or buy other hardware, existing Pixel and Samsung S8 mobile phone can directly support, even lower than Google requirements put forward by Daydream VR, Daydream VR is also limited to the high-end Android devices, and a series of screen, processor hardware according to the standard, but the ARCore is suitable for the existing and future Android mobile phone.
Will Apple be the latest leader in mobile AR?
In the past two years, Apple bought many AR/VR technologies, including Metaio, Faceshift, Emotient, Flyby Media and SensoMotoric Instruments and so on, but also a very well-known talent in related fields, such as Virginia Tech professor Doug Bowman, who is one of America's top VR experts. Obviously, Apple has been silently set up their own mysterious AR/VR team. Not only that, Apple has also submitted a number of copies of the mysterious AR/VR patents, some of which even hinted to AR head mounted display device is built for iPhone.
All of these initiatives, coupled with the recent launch of ARKit, show that Apple will showcase cutting-edge AR technologies on a new generation of iPhone released in September to respond positively to Google or Microsoft. There are rumors that Apple's new iPhone will be equipped with depth sensing camera and 3D sensing computer vision chip, and may have AR head display device. Of course, whether or not there is a AR head, this device is unknown, after all, there are rumors that Apple will launch its own AR glasses later in 2020.
In any case, since Apple has done so much work on the reality of AR, it is bound to make a big effort in the field. Apple's head of Cook more than once claimed, apple AR augmented reality technology of interest, and that the AR market was "significant", and let AR be the first step in the mainstream of experience, is incorporated into the operating system. As a result, iOS 11's ARKit has become the first key for apple to open the door to AR's enhanced display field, and Apple hopes to bring in a truly huge leap for mobile applications, thanks to a large number of AR augmented reality applications.
I believe that when iOS 11 officially launched, a large number of iPhone cameras based on the AR app will appear in the App Store shelves. After all, since June this year, Apple introduced the ARKit, since then there have been a large number of developers to focus on the development of iOS equipment by ARKit for AR content, and the application of some, is likely to show at the conference tomorrow morning on chip.Developers are developing AR positioning to find people app:
Who won the head-on collision between apple and Google?
To tell you the truth, it's too early to predict the ultimate winner for the mobile AR revolution that apple and Google are about to launch.
As you know, apple is more in the unified software operating system and hardware advantage, ensure uniform AR experience is not a big problem, and so can A9 chip above equipment experience, large scale. Because iPhone has come to the A10 generation, and immediately bring A11 new products, equipment applicable to the ARKit will be more and more. In a large number of users, apple can even turn AR into a more ecological, let the Apple Watch support AR, AR Apple Music and Apple Pay services based on the unified ecological Apple related work AR an easy job to do.
By contrast, the fragmentation of Google's Android lineup has never been resolved, and currently runs or upgrades to the Android 7 and 7.1 Nougat operating systems with a market share of only 13.5%. ARCore and development tool is in the preview version, Google is also working with Samsung, HUAWEI, LG, ASUS and other manufacturers in close cooperation, hoping to more attempts to launch more support for ARCore devices, and realize the unity of the high quality and high performance AR experience.
Therefore, although the global market share of Android smartphones is much larger than that of iOS devices, there are not many devices that actually experience ARCore. Not surprisingly, the number of early equipment support ARCore and ARKit may be roughly the same, ARKit may also be some more, otherwise Google would not be so eager to find active OEM vendors to create intelligent mobile phone with Android requirements.
Another problem is that, compared to apple, Google needs to convince more developers to embrace ARCore. Because the early mobile developers will love ARKit, but not ARCore, for their early mobile AR field are relatively unfamiliar, they need to be familiar with, the need for a unified development environment to test your application, the Android camp, instead of jumping into a different hardware configuration. So you can expect popular AR applications to appear on iOS first, and then be ported to Android for a while, which is really a favorite practice for years.