Atom Visualiser: first ARCore app on Play store

Sept. 9, 2017, 2:31 p.m. By: Pranjal Kumar

Atom Visualiser

Google recently announced the release of its Augmented reality platform ARCore to help the developers develop AR apps for Android smartphone. This move came just after Apple announced its own AR platform ARKit at this year’s WWDC. Many people were surprised by the fact that Apple beat Google in the race of AR platform as there is more number of android users. But, it’s never too late and Google has finally released ARCore.

Augmented Reality apps have recently got lots of attention and are considered as the future of display technology. Some developers also consider that AR has much more potential than VR. But, when it comes to developing AR apps for smartphones, Apple is way ahead of Google at this point of time. Google has now made the first preview app for ARCore available on the Play Store. The new app is called Atom Visualiser and is developed by Signal Garden. This app allows the users to place a 3D animated atom in their surrounding environment. The atoms could be viewed in their Bohr model or the quantum mechanical model.

Atom Visualiser is currently available on the Play Store but unfortunately, ARCore only supports few devices (Google Pixel, Pixel XL, Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+). Users will have to side load Google’s ARCore tools before downloading Atom Visualizer in their supported smartphone. They can download the same from Google developer website. Users can Open the download links directly on their Android smartphone and start downloading APK. After installing ARCore APK, users can go to Google Play Store and download Atom Visualizer. The app works quite seamlessly by placing atomic models of all 118 elements from the periodic table in real space. The Atomic model can be viewed in two different formats Bohr model (displays an atom as a shell with their central nucleus and electrons orbiting around it) and quantum mechanical model (atoms and with their electron clouds around them).

Users can also control the speed of animation using a slider on the top right corner of the app screen. Well, this app is just for educational purposes. AS a student, you can understand energy levels of the electrons and their movements around the nucleus using Bohr’s model. On the other hand, the quantum model can help you understand the quantum mechanical view of an atom helps understand the possible location of electrons in relation to the nucleus. The app also provides Wikipedia link of each atom for future details.

This is just an experimental app to demonstrate the power of ARCore. But, Google AR has a lot of catching up to do when compared to its counterpart Apple which will become official alongside iOS 11 at the company's September 12 event.