Ambitious San Francisco firm, 8th Wall, has launched a cross-platform AR solution that it claims works on any common phone, ‘With or without native AR frameworks, proving an estimated 650% increase in the number of supported smartphones’.
The Palo Alto start-up consists of former Google and Facebook engineers who have been working on a suite of tools to develop AR applications for mobile. The company estimates that even with the advent of Apple’s ARKit, the availability of native mobile AR frameworks is less than 15% of smartphones in 2018.
AR For All
When a phone supports a native framework such as ARKit or Tango, 8th Wall XR uses these libraries to provide 6 Degrees-of-Freedom (DoF) tracking, surface estimation, lighting estimation, and calibrated scene display. For other phones, 8th Wall XR provides 3DoF tracking, fixed surfaces, camera calibration information and vision-based lighting estimation. Later this year, the team plans to bring 6DoF to all supported phones.
Faster To Develop
Erik Murphy-Chutorian, Founder and CEO at 8th Wall said, “8th Wall XR works by bringing the best possible AR experience to each user's device. It leverages native libraries like ARKit or Tango when available, and in their absence as is common today, the very same apps run on all other iOS or Android devices by using the phone’s camera and inertial sensors. We've made it much faster to develop as well, addressing the current shortcomings and challenges in building an AR app today. Developers can now effortlessly create an AR application in a matter of minutes.”
8th Wall XR is available to Unity developers here and works on all commonly available iOS and Android phones, integrating with ARKit and Tango. ARCore integration will follow soon.