In my most recent class discussion post titled “Are Businesses Ready for Digital Graffiti?” I discuss the newly introduced application called Mark AR. This App enables users to create digital “graffiti” on any surface. Once this creation is published, the artwork and artwork location is saved within the app for other Mark AR app users to see while they use the app during their travels.
The technology behind the ability to save this content and have other users view it in the exact location that it was created is called ARCore Cloud Anchors and it is being developed by Google. In short, ARCore Cloud Anchors are a necessity to create multi-person or collaborative augmented reality experiences.
ARCore relies on the camera of a cellphone (or other camera enabled devices) to scan the area in which a creator would like to place an AR creation. During this scanning, ARCore begins to search for certain identifiers within the scan, which could be anything from changes in lighting, textures, or even variations in color. These identifiers determine where ARCore places anchor points, which along with GPS information, is uploaded to the cloud and used to create the multi-user AR experience.
In the past, Google’s ARCore Cloud Anchors were relatively limited. The cloud anchors would only remain active for a few hours or would delete as soon as you were finished and closed the app. Recently, Google released an update that enabled Persistent Cloud Anchors, meaning that placed Cloud Anchors could remain indefinitely.
This development has opened the door for complete shared AR experiences overlaid on top of the real world. With the introduction of Google’s ARCore Persistent Cloud Anchors the augmented reality possibilities are literally endless. One of the major drawbacks of current day AR experiences, is that they are only viewable by users of specific apps, creating a very segmented experience. Google is currently laying the framework for a universally connected AR experience that could be as widely available to users as Google Maps. I believe that we will see a dramatic increase of augmented reality experiences once HUD (heads up display) enabled glasses and automobile windows/windshields become more readily available. With continued development into ARCore Persistent Cloud Anchors, Google is paving the way for enhanced, interconnected, and widely available augmented reality experiences that could open up many advertising and interactive opportunities for business.
“Google-Powered Mark AR Lets You Create Virtual Graffiti Masterpieces in Augmented Reality.” TechEBlog, 12 Oct. 2019, www.techeblog.com/mark-ar-virtual-graffiti-google/.
“Share AR Experiences with Cloud Anchors | ARCore | Google Developers.” Google, Google, developers.google.com/ar/develop/java/cloud-anchors/overview-android\.
“Google Laying the Groundwork for ‘Persistent’ AR Layers – 9to5Google.” Google, Google, 9to5google.com/2019/09/12/google-ar-cloud-anchors/.