Augmented reality is a very controversial thing. On the one hand, popular companies are trying to find a useful application for it in their services, but, on the other hand, this technology has failed to become the norm for the vast majority of people. Even I, who consider myself an advanced user, never caught myself with a sincere desire to enable augmented reality, even though on paper many processes compatible with it look very convenient. However, Google is not giving up and is trying to spread the use of augmented reality around the world.
To popularize augmented reality among users of Android devices, Google began creating so-called “cloud anchors”, which were originally called Cloud Anchors. They represent points on the map, anchored to certain coordinates, with support for the ARCore platform. This is necessary in order to activate a certain scenario in augmented reality when users who find themselves in the desired area and launch the camera.
How Cloud Anchors Work
In very simple terms, it works like this: due to the fact that ARCore is a cloud platform, Google simply integrates information about different geolocation points to which certain visual scenarios are attached. Therefore, no physical anchors need to be placed in the field. And since they are tied to coordinates that do not change regardless of any external factors, it doesn’t even matter for Cloud Anchors to work if all buildings in this area are demolished and new ones are erected.
Many different scenarios can be exploited in this way. It could be a game that developers want to add interactivity, overlaying images of a century-old terrain, a virtual signpost that guides you to a specific establishment or point, and much more. You just need to take out your phone, activate GPS, so that it can determine your current location and activate the camera. At the same moment, the device will recognize Cloud Anchor and execute the script embedded in it.
Augmented Reality Games and Apps
Google makes these “anchors” not so much for itself as for third-party developers, making it easier for them to use augmented reality in their projects. After all, it is clear that many even large studios would hardly dare to do this, since the whole process, firstly, could take too much time from them, and, secondly, take a lot of money. Of course, no one in their right mind would do this, given the rather dim prospects of augmented reality. Therefore, Google has taken on this honorable duty, because it would be foolish to leave ARCore idle.
In general, augmented reality can hardly be called a popular technology, despite all the efforts of Google. But the company has obviously put a lot of effort into its popularization. Navigation is one of the priority directions in the development of augmented reality. Only in the last year, the developers of the search giant have built in the proprietary maps the function of building routes in augmented reality, the ability to search for other users, determining the direction of their movement, and even navigate visible objects without connecting to the network. The only pity is that so far few people use it.