When it comes to mass adoption, augmented reality is still primarily a mobile world, so Google is pitching its own ARCore flavor of mobile AR to the education and marketing segments.
On Tuesday, at the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Conference in Chicago, Google countered Apple's recent positioning of a cheaper iPad and AR apps for schools with its own ecosystem for educational augmented reality.
For hardware, Google is urging administrators to opt for the Acer Chromebook Tab 10, the first tablet running Chrome OS and designed for schools, over the iPad. Google already has a market share lead in education over Apple with its low-cost Chromebooks and easy to use Chrome OS administration infrastructure, and the Tab 10 gives schools an affordable ($329) device with a touchscreen interface, along with dual cameras and a stylus, which allows students to take advantage of immersive content.
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While Apple presented its ecosystem of ARKit apps for education in its pitch to schools, Google has its own Expeditions app, which is stockpiled with VR and AR educational content, and apps created using ARCore. All of these apps can run on the Tab 10, the first Chrome OS device to support ARCore. While AR content for Expeditions won't be available until the fall, the app itself was recently updated on the Play Store to run on ARCore devices.
In a similar AR push, directed at a different sector, last week, Google extolled the virtues of ARCore to advertisers and creatives at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.
During the festival, the company hosted Google Beach technology showcase, during which visitors learned about using AR to create brand experiences and witnessed examples of such work.
To demonstrate how ARCore can be applied to marketing, Google enlisted representatives from international advertising agency Ogilvy and production studio MediaMonks to put an AR twist on existing advertisements, including AR remixes of campaigns for Kiwi shoe polish and Perrier bottled water.
"AR offers immersive experiences in real life that bring people into our brand universe," said Marion Taisne, global brand director for Perrier, in a statement. "This experience allowed us to go beyond traditional ads to demonstrate that when fruit juice mixes with Perrier, 'extraordinaire' happens."
Google's pitch to brands to adopt more immersive AR campaigns echoes Adobe's showcase of AR art created via Project Aero, and Snapchat's ongoing recruitment for its Lens Studio platform.
Apple had a healthy head start to sway students, developers, creators, and marketers over to its ARKit platform, but if any company has the resources to close the gap with Apple, it's Google. It looks like the mobile AR war is now in full swing.
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