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Google says augmented reality will be on 'hundreds of millions' of Android devices next year

  • Google expects "hundreds of millions" of Android devices to have augmented reality (AR) capabilities by the end of next year
  • Google executive Amit Singh said that monetization opportunities would arise as AR use becomes a "daily habit"
  • Google released the ARCore developers kit earlier this year which competes with Apple's ARKit
Aparna Chennapragada, Senior Director of Product at Google, Inc., talks about the new Augmented Reality stickers feature of the Pixel 2 smartphone at a product launch event, October 4, 2017.
Elijah Nouvelage | AFP | Getty Images
Aparna Chennapragada, Senior Director of Product at Google, Inc., talks about the new Augmented Reality stickers feature of the Pixel 2 smartphone at a product launch event, October 4, 2017.

Google expects that "hundreds of millions" of Android devices will be capable of augmented reality (AR) uses next year, bringing a slew of potential monetization opportunities.

Amit Singh, vice president of business and operations for virtual reality (VR) at Google, spoke about the company's investment in the technology and the release of ARCore, a platform that allows developers to make AR apps for Android.

The Google executive expects the use of AR to become a daily occurrence.

"There will be hundreds of millions of phones that will be AR ready. And the current stage is … we are helping developers … build the experiences … so that it becomes a daily habit," Singh said Tuesday during a talk at the Web Summit technology conference in Lisbon, Portugal.

"And once it does, I suspect the natural evolution of monetization comes through."

Singh talked about the potential to make money from games or even shopping.

The U.S. search giant expects that 100 million devices will be AR ready by the end of this year, and then "hundreds of millions" by the end of 2018.

When ARCore was released in August it was launched on Google's Pixel phone and the Samsung Galaxy S8. Both are high-end phones. But Singh said he expects that mid-and-lower-end phones to get the capabilities over the next two years.

"Augmented reality (will become) a core feature of most of Android over the next few years," Singh said.

AR has become a big battleground for the technology giants, in particular Apple and Google. Apple released its ARKit, a set of tools to help developers create AR apps on its iOS operating system. That is Google's direct competitor.

Apple CEO Tim Cook told CNBC earlier this year that AR would make the iPhone "even more essential."

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