Augmented reality ( AR ) for the rest of us is here: San Jose, California-based computer vision startup uSens has developed technology that makes it possible to run augmented reality apps like the ones you’d see on an iPhone X on a cheap $100 Android phone.
The company announced its new AR engine for Android phones at CES in Las Vegas this week, demonstrating the technology with a variety of phones at their booth. Much like Apple’s ARKit and Google’s ARCore , uSensAR uses what’s being called simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM).
This essentially makes it possible for the phone to scan a room, place virtual objects in that room and display them in relation to the camera location. When a user goes closer to an object, that object scales in size – just like a real object would.
Apple was first to introduce this kind of mobile AR technology with the release of iOS 11 last fall, and has since made it available to recent-generation iPhones and iPads. Google is doing the same on Android with ARCore , but has thus far restricted the technology to a few high-end devices, like its own Pixel phones.