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Do We Need More Than One AR App to “Measure” Objects?

apple measure

When it comes to augmented reality, I have been praising its benefits (or possible benefits) for a while now.  No, I don’t have any stake in it.  I just think that it could be incredibly useful for so many things.  How many times have my parents showed up to my house to help me fix something, only to say “do you have a measuring tape”?  And my answer is always “I think so”.  I am not the handiest person, but they are, which is why I often solicit their assistance when it comes to these things.  Because of augmented reality, there are now tools available to help me measure the size of my dishwasher so I can buy a new one.

Without augmented reality, I’m searching my house for the measuring tape that my parents gave me the last time I saw them.  That said, there are two tools on the market to help with this particular issue – Google Measure and Apple Measure.  Yes, they both have the same name, it would seem.  How that turned out to be the case, is beyond anyone’s comprehension.  I mean, sure, “measure” makes sense, but for both to come up with an augmented reality solution to measuring things, and then to name it the same thing does seem a bit odd.  That said, there are two.  Google’s tool, however, has been around for a bit longer and it just got an update. The new Measure, from Google, works with any smartphone that supports ARCore.  That means, if you’ve got Android 7.0 and higher, you can run this particular app.

google measure

This update does come at an interesting time, considering Apple has released ARKit 2, which, of course, contains their own version of Measure.  In the iOS version, all you need to do is use your phone’s camera, and you can measure the size of any object that you like.  The concept itself is pretty straightforward, but the question I want to explore is whether or not the world needs more than one ruler app.  The short answer is yes – because without both of these, you would only be able to use it on one platform.  But on the other hand, with ARKit and ARCore, shouldn’t it be up to the developer to make the app?  Rather than putting the heat on Apple or Google to develop one for their particular operating system?

google measure

I guess where I’m going with this is that both operating systems have the capability to allow augmented reality applications to be developed.  It’s a free market, so I’m not suggesting otherwise, but it just seems like everyone is racing to achieve the same thing.  While I would never suggest that these two work together, I think that it’s safe to come at this from a third party perspective. Build the technology so that each operating system benefits from it, but then don’t develop your own app that’s exclusively available within that operating system.  Wait for a third party to do it.  Because they will.  Maybe I’m oversimplifying here, or maybe I’m way off base, but I think it’s a waste of time for Apple and Google to essentially create the same thing for their own platforms.

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