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ARCore Depth API is now ready to hide AR objects behind real objects

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The very first iterations of phone-based augmented reality simply slapped floating “stickers” in the camera viewer to give the semblance of a 3D object virtually existing in the real world. That illusion, however, was easily shattered when a real-world object that should go in front of those virtual objects don’t. Google’s answer to that is ARCore’s new depth perception and after half a year of baking in previews and betas, it is finally ready for all developers to create more believable AR illusions.

Depth perception is one of the key features of believable augmented reality experiences but while it isn’t exactly new, most of the time it requires specialized hardware like a depth or 3D time-of-flight (ToF) sensor to pull off. Google created ARCore to enable AR experiences across smartphones that may have just one camera, like many of its own Pixel phones, and that includes enabling depth perception without additional imaging sensors.

The results of this software-based solution are definitely impressive, at least going by the samples that Google is now showing off. It has partnered with a few big names in the app and mobile gaming market to put that API to test. Illumix used it to give Five Nights at Freddy’s AR: Special Delivery players a shocker while Snap will be letting users interesting AR-based Lenses.

Hiding behind real-world things isn’t the only use for depth perception, of course. It is equally important to properly put AR objects in front of them, like how TeamViewer Pilot is using it to annotate live video feeds. There are also plenty of opportunities for more whimsical applications, of course, like putting a miniature skating ramp in your living room.

ARCore’s Depth API is now available in the latest 1.18 version, both for direct Android developers as well as those using the Unity 3D game engine. While it doesn’t require more than one RGB camera to work, Google does say that having a 3D ToF sensor will naturally improve the quality of the experience.

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Motorola Moto X30 Pro Will Have An Unusual Camera System

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This is just the tip of the iceberg for the Moto X30 Pro. The strangest thing about the model won’t be its unusually large camera sensor, especially since Xiaomi already claimed that crown. Instead, it will be the use of three focal lengths in the camera system that could mean the removal of one traditional part of that group.

Motorola’s Weibo account revealed that the Moto X30 Pro will have a 35mm focal point at its widest. This will be joined by a 50mm telephoto that could have a 2x magnification, as well as an 80mm longer telephoto option. If this is an accurate description, it would suggest that the phone will ditch the ultra-wide shooter in favor of two telephoto cameras when some of its peers opt to eschew telephoto cameras to make way for a macro alternative.

Whether this will give the Moto X30 Pro an actual advantage over other high-end phones this year remains to be seen, literally. It sounds almost like a mixed bag, at least in the camera department, though the rest of the rumored specs are on par for a 2022 flagship. The Moto X30 Pro, which could go by the name Motorola Frontier in global markets, is expected to run on a Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 processor, bear a 6.67-inch 144Hz OLED screen, and boast 125W super-fast charging for its modest 4,500mAh battery.

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2023 Mercedes-AMG EQE First Drive: Electrified Luxury Gets A Sports Upgrade

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AMG promises performance magic, upgrading the EQE EV sedan with supercar-rivaling power to go with a lavish, tech-filled cabin. Can it deliver soul with speed?

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How To Fix Amazon Prime Video Not Streaming In 4K

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Not all Amazon Prime Video titles are available in 4K quality. Older movies and shows often do not support that format, and even some newer flicks will still be unavailable for a variety of reasons ranging from licensing to technical difficulties. As a result, your title of choice might look less-than-perfect, not due to a fault on Amazon’s end, but simply because that title may not support 4K in the first place. 

Amazon has a list of titles available in 4K, so checking whether the one you’re trying to watch is, is fairly easy. You can see all the 4K offerings by heading over to the official Amazon website. The list is not very intuitive in the sense that you can’t check for specifics within the results as this is already a narrowed-down list. However, you can also simply type in the title of your movie or show into the search bar above to check whether it’s available on Prime Video and in 4K.

You can also search directly on Amazon Prime Video. Any variation of “4K,” “4K movies ultra HD,” “4K film,” or even something more specific like “4K romantic comedies” should produce a list of titles that you can watch right now. If you managed to locate your title on one of these lists and yet it still looks underwhelming, there may be other issues at hand.

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