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Home / Tips and Tricks / Google adds Raw Depth API to improve spatial awareness and depth data for Android AR apps «Mobile AR News :: Next Reality

Google adds Raw Depth API to improve spatial awareness and depth data for Android AR apps «Mobile AR News :: Next Reality



For most regular users, LiDAR sensors for accurate depth sensing remain the exclusive domain of Apple iPhones and iPads, but Google is helping Android device makers close the depth gap on the software side through the ARCore toolkit.

After introducing new AR features for Search and Maps and previewing the stunning Project Starline 3D video conferencing concept during Tuesday’s I / O keynote presentation, Google unceremoniously announced ARCore 1.24 that two new AR capabilities: Raw Depth API and Recording and Playback API, with the former enabling more realistic AR experiences and more accurate occlusion in the absence of LiDAR.

The Raw Depth API builds on the existing Depth API by capturing additional depth data so that apps can render realistic AR experiences through a standard smartphone camera. However, Android devices with depth-sensing time-of-flight sensors will provide higher quality experiences.

(1
) TikTok, (2) AR Doodads, (3) 3D Live Scanner. Images via Google

“The new ARCore Raw Depth API provides more detailed representations of the geometry of objects in the scene by generating ‘raw’ depth maps with associated reliability maps,” said Google AR product managers Ian Zhang and Zeina Oweis. “These raw depth maps contain raw data points, and the reliability maps provide confidence in the depth estimate for each pixel in the raw depth map.”

The result of the aggregated data is improved geometry recognition, which means greater precision in depth measurement and a better understanding of the environment for realistically anchoring AR content in physical environments.

One of the first apps to take advantage of the Raw Depth API is TikTok. The app’s Green Screen Projector effect envelops objects where the Raw Depth API has a high degree of confidence with photos from the user’s camera roll.

(1) lifeAR, (2) ARConnect, (3) Snapchat. Images via Google

Other early adopters include the virtual Rube Goldberg machine game AR Doodads, the measurement app AR Connect, the 3D scan app 3D Live Scanner and Teamviewer’s lifeAR for remote assistance.

In addition, with the recording and playback API, ARCore gives apps the ability to capture inertial measurement units (IMU) and depth data in video images. For developers, this means they can test AR apps without going into the field for different real-world environments.


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