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Open Source NativeScript Mobile Framework Tackles Augmented Reality

With augmented reality the new hotness in the mobile development space, companies right and left are jumping on the AR bandwagon, including Progress, which just announced upcoming support in its open source, cross-platform NativeScript framework.

AR, popularized last year by the runaway success of Pokémon GO, lets developers enhance real-world imagery with computer-generated sensory input, such as graphics and sound.

Recently the mobile industry's main players, Google and Apple, both introduced AR SDKs for their respective platforms.

Now Progress is announcing upcoming AR functionality for NativeScript, which spans both Android and iOS platforms.

The company's chief evangelist, Todd Anglin, this week published a blog post with a video demonstrating the AR functionality, while noting it's not yet available for production use.

"While it is not ready yet, the plugin is in active development, and we are looking forward to releasing it soon," Anglin said. "It will work equally well with both Angular and vanilla JavaScript NativeScript applications."

A preview post by Rob Lauer introducing the nativescript-ar plugin notes that it presently leverages ARKit APIs in the soon-to-be-released iOS 11, with support for Google's Android platform ARCore APIs planned -- delayed by notorious Android rollout issues.

Augmented Reality in NativeScript
[Click on image for larger view.] Augmented Reality in NativeScript (source: Progress)

"The nativescript-ar plugin is in active development today," Lauer said. "When we release the first version, it will support only ARKit due to the aforementioned rollout delays with ARCore on Android. However, the ARKit and ARCore APIs are relatively similar and during development we are keeping in mind the overall footprint to make sure our abstraction is truly cross-platform.

"Regardless, due to the large API surface of both SDKs (and thanks to the capabilities of NativeScript), developers will always be able to tap into the more obscure platform-specific APIs if they are not exposed via the plugin."

About the Author

David Ramel is editor in chief of Visual Studio Magazine and Application Development Trends Magazine.

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