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Instant Placement developer guide for Android

Learn how to use the Instant Placement API in your own apps.

Configure a new session with Instant Placement

In a new ARCore session, enable Instant Placement mode.

Java

// Create the ARCore session.
public void createSession() {
  session = new Session(applicationContext);
  Config config = new Config(session);
  // Set the Instant Placement mode.
  config.setInstantPlacementMode(InstantPlacementMode.LOCAL_Y_UP);
  session.configure(config);
}

Kotlin

// Create the ARCore session.
fun createSession() {
  session = Session(applicationContext);
  val config = Config(session)
  // Set the Instant Placement mode.
  config.instantPlacementMode = Config.InstantPlacementMode.LOCAL_Y_UP
  session.configure(config)
}

Place an object

Use Frame.hitTestInstantPlacement() to create a trackable Instant Placement point given a screen tap position. Retrieve the current pose with the getPose() method.

Java

private placementIsDone = false;

public void onDrawFrame(GL10 gl) {
  Frame frame = session.update();

  // Place an object on tap.
  if (!placementIsDone && didUserTap()) {
    // Use estimated distance from the user's device to the real world, based
    // on expected user interaction and behavior.
    float approximateDistanceMeters = 2.0f;
    // Performs a ray cast given a screen tap position.
    List<HitResult> results =
      frame.hitTestInstantPlacement(tapX, tapY, approximateDistanceMeters);
    if (!results.isEmpty()) {
      InstantPlacementPoint point = (InstantPlacementPoint) results.get(0).getTrackable();
      // Create an Anchor from the point's pose.
      Anchor anchor = point.createAnchor(point.getPose());
      placementIsDone = true;
      disableInstantPlacement();
    }
  }
}

Kotlin

var placementIsDone = false;

fun onDrawFrame(gl: GL10) {
  val frame = session.update();

  // Place an object on tap.
  if (!placementIsDone && didUserTap()) {
    // Use estimated distance from the user's device to the real world, based
    // on expected user interaction and behavior.
    val approximateDistanceMeters = 2.0f;
    // Performs a ray cast given a screen tap position.
    val results = frame.hitTestInstantPlacement(tapX, tapY, approximateDistanceMeters)
    if (results.isNotEmpty()) {
      val point = results[0].trackable as InstantPlacementPoint
      // Create an Anchor from the point's pose.
      val anchor = point.createAnchor(point.pose)
      placementIsDone = true
      disableInstantPlacement()
    }
  }
}

Smooth the tracking method transition

When true depth becomes available, ARCore will change a InstantPlacementPoint's tracking method from SCREENSPACE_WITH_APPROXIMATE_DISTANCE to FULL_TRACKING. The point's pose will also change to reflect true depth. This may lead to the object appearing to suddenly grow or shrink. To avoid this sudden change, add an InstantPlacementPoint wrapper.

Java

// Wrapper class to track state to reduce sudden visual changes in object size
class WrappedInstantPlacement {
  public InstantPlacementPoint point;
  public InstantPlacementPoint.TrackingMethod previousTrackingMethod;
  public float previousDistanceToCamera;
  public float scaleFactor = 1.0f;

  public WrappedInstantPlacement(
      InstantPlacementPoint point,
      InstantPlacementPoint.TrackingMethod previousTrackingMethod,
      float previousDistanceToCamera) {
    this.point = point;
    this.previousTrackingMethod = previousTrackingMethod;
    this.previousDistanceToCamera = previousDistanceToCamera;
  }
}

Kotlin

// Wrapper class to track state to reduce sudden visual changes in object size
class WrappedInstantPlacement(
  var point: InstantPlacementPoint,
  var previousTrackingMethod: InstantPlacementPoint.TrackingMethod,
  var previousDistanceToCamera: Float,
  var scaleFactor: Float = 1.0f
)

Then, add the following to your activity.

Java

List<WrappedInstantPlacement> wrappedPoints = new ArrayList<>();

public void onDrawFrame(GL10 gl) {
  Frame frame = session.update();
  Camera camera = frame.getCamera();

  // Place an object on tap.
  if (didUserTap()) {
    // Use the estimated distance from the user's device to the closest
    // available surface, based on expected user interaction and behavior.
    float approximateDistanceMeters = 2.0f;

    // Returns a single result if the hit test was successful.
    List<HitResult> results = frame.hitTestInstantPlacement(tapX, tapY, approximateDistanceMeters);
    for (HitResult hit : results) {
      InstantPlacementPoint point = (InstantPlacementPoint) hit.getTrackable();
      wrappedPoints.add(new WrappedInstantPlacement(point, point.getTrackingMethod(),
        distance(camera.getPose(), point.getPose())));
    }
  }

  for (WrappedInstantPlacement wrappedPoint : wrappedPoints) {
    InstantPlacementPoint point = wrappedPoint.point;
    if (point.getTrackingState() == TrackingState.STOPPED) {
      wrappedPoints.remove(wrappedPoint);
      continue;
    }
    if (point.getTrackingState() == TrackingState.PAUSED) {
      continue;
    }

    if (point.getTrackingMethod() == TrackingMethod.SCREENSPACE_WITH_APPROXIMATE_DISTANCE) {
       // Continue to use the estimated depth and pose. Record the distance to
       // the camera for use in the next frame if the transition to full
       // tracking happens.
       wrappedPoint.previousDistanceToCamera = distance(point.getPose(), camera.getPose());
    }
    else if (point.getTrackingMethod() == TrackingMethod.FULL_TRACKING) {
      if (wrappedPoint.previousTrackingMethod == TrackingMethod.SCREENSPACE_WITH_APPROXIMATE_DISTANCE) {
        // Change from the estimated pose to the accurate pose. Adjust the
        // object scale to counteract the apparent change due to pose jump.
        wrappedPoint.scaleFactor = distance(point.getPose(), camera.getPose()) /
            wrappedPoint.previousDistanceToCamera;
        // Apply the scale factor to the model.
        // ...
        wrappedPoint.previousTrackingMethod = TrackingMethod.FULL_TRACKING;
      }
    }
  }
}

float distance(Pose p, Pose q) {
  return Math.sqrt(Math.pow(p.tx() - q.tx(), 2) + Math.pow(p.ty() - q.ty(), 2) + Math.pow(p.tz() - q.tz(), 2));
}

Kotlin

var wrappedPoints = mutableListOf<WrappedInstantPlacement>()

fun onDrawFrame(gl: GL10?) {
  val frame = session.update()
  val camera = frame.camera

  // Place an object on tap.
  if (didUserTap()) {
    // Use the estimated distance from the user's device to the closest
    // available surface, based on expected user interaction and behavior.
    val approximateDistanceMeters = 2.0f

    // Returns a single result if the hit test was successful.
    val results = frame.hitTestInstantPlacement(tapX, tapY, approximateDistanceMeters)
    for (hit in results) {
      val point = hit.trackable as InstantPlacementPoint
      val wrapped = WrappedInstantPlacement(point, point.trackingMethod, point.pose.distance(camera.pose))
      wrappedPoints.add(wrapped)
    }
  }
  loop@ for (wrappedPoint in wrappedPoints) {
    val point = wrappedPoint.point
    when {
      point.trackingState == TrackingState.STOPPED -> {
        wrappedPoints.remove(wrappedPoint)
        continue@loop
      }
      point.trackingState == TrackingState.PAUSED -> continue@loop
      point.trackingMethod == TrackingMethod.SCREENSPACE_WITH_APPROXIMATE_DISTANCE -> {
        // Continue to use the estimated depth and pose. Record the distance to
        // the camera for use in the next frame if the transition to full
        // tracking happens.
        wrappedPoint.previousDistanceToCamera = point.pose.distance(camera.pose)
      }
      wrappedPoint.previousTrackingMethod == TrackingMethod.SCREENSPACE_WITH_APPROXIMATE_DISTANCE &&
      point.trackingMethod == TrackingMethod.FULL_TRACKING -> {
        // Change from the estimated pose to the accurate pose. Adjust the
        // object scale to counteract the apparent change due to pose jump.
        wrappedPoint.scaleFactor =
          point.pose.distance(camera.pose) / wrappedPoint.previousDistanceToCamera
        // Apply the scale factor to the model.
        // ...
        wrappedPoint.previousTrackingMethod = TrackingMethod.FULL_TRACKING
      }
    }
  }
}

fun Pose.distance(other: Pose) = sqrt(
  (tx() - other.tx()).pow(2.0f) + (ty() - other.ty()).pow(2.0f) + (tz() - other.tz()).pow(2.0f)
)

Increase efficiency after object placement

Disable Instant Placement when the object is correctly placed to save CPU cycles and power.

Java

void disableInstantPlacement() {
  Config config = new Config(session);
  config.setInstantPlacementMode(Config.InstantPlacementMode.DISABLED);
  session.configure(config);
}

Kotlin

fun disableInstantPlacement() {
  val config = Config(session)
  // Set the Instant Placement mode.
  config.instantPlacementMode = Config.InstantPlacementMode.DISABLED
  session.configure(config)
}