Google

Just a Line

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Creating a first look at the immersion made possible by augmented reality

The Challenge

Google Creative Lab, a "modern best-case scenario of a brand development think tank,” needed a tool to showcase their Cloud Anchors innovation. They were looking for a partner to highlight their technology framework's flexibility and extensibility while also providing a preview of the value it brings to end-users. Fresh Portland stepped in as a strategic and technological consulting partner.

Our Solution

Google's Cloud Anchors are built with AR Core, which has massive potential for businesses across various industries and end-users looking for new ways to play in augmented spaces. Just a Line is based on the simple premise of drawing in augmented reality and gives users an entry point to XR.

Cross-platform cloud anchors

Later in 2018, Fresh Portland and Google Creative Lab updated Just a Line to include Cloud Anchors. Google’s Cloud Anchors enables cross-platform collaboration in a united augmented reality canvas, a feature announced along with the iOS version of the software at Google’s I/O developer conference in May 2018.

Despite using different platforms, iOS and Android users can create on the same augmented reality canvas.

Authoring an open-source library

Just a Line features a Fresh Portland-authored Java library, RecordableSurfaceView, that streamlines video sharing in Android. Creative Lab chose to release the software as Open Source. ARCore is implemented as a special case OpenGL stack, a well-known method of rendering graphics to the screen. However, recording a GL Android app video, either as a user or as a developer, can be challenging. That is, until now.

RecordableSurfaceView is intended to be a drop-in replacement for GLSurfaceView, with the added benefit of recording the frames to an MP4 for sharing.

A continued collaboration with Creative Lab

Continued support for emerging Android devices, including tablets, has kept Fresh Portland busy since Just a Line’s major cross-platform launch in Q2 2018. We’ve taken the opportunity to catalog some of the emerging interaction patterns that people have employed in bringing their imagination to life.

As Google continues to innovate in the XR space, we plan to support them along the way. It’s a showcase of how the technology works and a promise of the value it can bring to organizations in industries ranging from entertainment to healthcare, industrial automation, aerospace, and much more.