ast year, Google previewed persistent Cloud Anchors which can be tied to a specific location and allow information to be permanently overlaid over the real world. With the recent upgrade ARCore 1.20, it has officially launched with a number of apps already taking advantage. Meanwhile, Google has recently showcased Earth Cloud Anchors.
Cloud Anchors were initially announced as a way to build collaborative Augmented Reality apps. Cloud Anchors work by having devices create a 3D feature map from visual data and has the ability to be accessed by others. Previously, these experiences were only available for a single session which then disappeared once the app was closed. But as the name suggests, persistent Cloud Anchors can last for longer periods of time by being tied to a latitude and longitude which developers can maintain.
The persistent Cloud Anchors marries Augmented Reality content and real world locations which can be returned to time and time again over weeks and months. With persistent Cloud Anchors can also be accessed by multiple people using compatible smartphone devices.
Persistent Cloud Anchors is now available to iOS, Android and Unity Augmented Reality developers using ARCore 1.20.
Developers are already utilising persistent Cloud Anchors, some of the recent examples are:
Allows “visitors at Changdeokgung Palace in South Korea are guided by the legendary Haechi to relevant locations where they can experience historical and cultural high fidelity AR content.”
“Lets people leave AR messages in real-world locations for friends, family and their community to discover.”
“Help passengers find their way at Central Station in Stockholm, making it easier and faster for them to make their train departures.”
Google is continuously developing functionality to make persistent Cloud Anchors more discoverable to a wider audience. With the recent developments of Earth Cloud Anchors, Google will utilise the global localisation technology which powers Live View directions in Google Maps to “guide users to AR content.”
Earth Cloud Anchors are opening the doors to unbelievable immersive content which can be tied to physical locations. Be it historical recreations or games, Earth Cloud Anchors can give directions every step of the way on where to go to access the innovative Augmented Reality Experience. In a recent demonstration, Google showcased developers having the ability to customise the arrows which guide users:
The Earth Cloud Anchors are still in its infancy, but developers can apply to test.