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Benchmarking ARCore* on Chromebooks*

BY 01 Staff (not verified) ON Sep 30, 2019

Augmented Reality (AR) is an emerging technology useful in our daily lives. AR is rapidly growing in popularity because it brings elements of the virtual world into our real world, thus enhancing the things we see, hear, and feel. Many popular augmented and virtual reality applications are supported on mobile devices, however, Chromebooks can add even more flexibility for the AR world. [1] Just as mobile devices use the camera function to superimpose augmented reality on top of the real world, a Chromebook can do the same using its built-in camera. The new performance will transform the Chromebook to include more tablet-like functionality.

ARCore* is a platform from Google* used to build augmented reality experiences, which is supported in Android 7.0 (Nougat) or later desserts. Typically, benchmarking a Chromebook for the ARCore* experience measures the Frames Per Second (FPS) and the camera calibration. This paper identifies different AR use cases for critical components such as display and camera and provides information about the benchmarking tools for measuring the AR experience.

INTRODUCTION

According to RealityTechnologies.com, Augmented Reality is an enhanced version of reality where live direct or indirect views of physical real-world environments are augmented with superimposed computer-generated images over a user’s view of the real-world, thus enhancing one’s current perception of reality. As both virtual and real worlds harmoniously coexist, users of augmented reality experience a new and improved natural world where virtual information is used as a tool to aid in everyday activities.” [2]

With each step forward in the digital revolution, hardware engineers and software developers continue to refine augmented reality technologies, blurring the line between real and virtual life.

Refer to Figure 1 to quickly differentiate between augmented reality and virtual reality [3].

Figure sources:  left & right

Figure 1: Augmented Reality vs Virtual Reality

ARCore is a platform from Google used to build augmented reality experiences, which is supported in Android 7.0 (Nougat) or later desserts. A phone can sense where it is, what’s around it, and how to react using ARCore APIs.

ARCore uses three key capabilities of a phone camera to combine virtual content with its current environment [4]:

  • Motion tracking allows the phone to understand and track its position relative to the world.
  • Environmental understanding allows the phone to detect the size and location of all type of surfaces: horizontal, vertical and angled surfaces like the ground, a coffee table or walls.
  • Light estimation allows the phone to estimate the environment's current lighting conditions.

Figure 2: ARCore

As shown in Figure 2, ARCore uses the camera and sensors, combines virtual content with the real world environment, and displays the output.

At this time, standard benchmarking tools are not available for benchmarking ARCore. The camera and sensors have already been benchmarked separately while characterizing the SOC, and ARCore assumes that the data provided by the camera and sensors are accurate. Our approach is to measure the FPS of the output generated by the ARCore.

APPROACH

In our daily activities we use many types of AR that involve a projection of an object or viewing a place, and a picture’s role becomes vital. The key benchmarking metric for such cases is a frames per second (FPS) calculation. Frame rate greatly impacts the style and viewing experience of a video. Different frame rates yield different viewing experiences and choosing a frame rate often means choosing between how realistic you want your video to look, or whether you plan to use techniques such as slow motion or motion blur effects. For example, most feature films are shot and viewed at 24 fps, while sports and video games use a higher fps rate to record busy scenes with a lot of motion.

Our first approach was to identify the applications that use ARCore functionality. The following table provides information about the popular ARCore applications we selected.

 

App Name

Play Store Link

1

Google Expeditions

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.vr.expeditions

2

Google Translate

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.translate

Google Expeditions allows users to explore AR objects such as historical landmarks or visit outer space.

Using Google Translate, users can input words or phrases in one language by speaking, typing, or sending a photo to translate to another language.

We used these benchmarking tools to measure FPS on the ARCore output:

  1. cafca2 tool (internally developed tool)
  2. Gamebench  (https://www.gamebench.net/)

These tools are user friendly and simple to use. Detailed procedures for setting up the tool and capturing the FPS is documented by the tool vendors, however, a summary is provided below for reference.

Using the cafca2 tool:

  1. Push the FPS app to the Chromebook using the script provided in the test bundle.
  2. Execute the script given and launch the application.
  3. Run the AR app on your target Chromebook. Ensure that content picked up has overlapped images and runs for at least 2 minutes.
  4. FPS rate will be displayed on the screen at the same time as the app is executed.

 

Using the Gamebench tool:

  1. Push the Gamebench App and other jar files to the Chromebook.
  2. Execute the jar file, which automatically launches the Gamebench App.
  3. Launch the AR app on your Chromebook.
  4. You will see the AR app listed in the Gamebench dashboard.
  5. Run the AR app on your target Chromebook – Ensure that content picked up has overlapped images and runs for at least 2 minutes.
  6. FPS rate will be displayed on the screen at the same time as the app is executed.

RESULTS

Our Evaluation Platform is Google Pixel Slate, which uses Intel® m3-8100Y Processor with 2 cores. The processor base frequency is 1.05 GHz and can reach up to 3.4 GHz in Turbo mode. The memory available in the device is 8 GB. Latest ChromeOS version R74 with Android Pie is loaded in the device. We ensured that “Internet Speed Test” was executed before collecting the data to confirm the internet bandwidth is same while execution of the tests. The apps are sideloaded to the system and tests are applied. Refer to Figure 3 for FPS display results.

Figure 3: Dynamic FPS Display by cafca2 and GameBench Tool

Refer to the table below, which shows FPS data for different use cases for Google ARCore Apps.

App

Use Case

FPS

Google Expeditions

Skeleton

59

Google Expeditions

African Instruments

59

Google Translate

How are you? Text Msg

57

Google Translate

How are you? You are Good? Text Msg

29


CONCLUSION

The goal was to provide an overview of ARCore App and performance measurement of ARCore in Chromebooks. In summary, we can conclude that good FPS score potential reflects to the ARCore performance on the Chromebook. Email to ask questions, or discuss issues: jaishankar.rajendran@intel.com biboshan.banerjee@intel.com, anuvarshini.bc@intel.com.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

This article was written by Jaishankar Rajendran, Biboshan Banerjee, and BC, Anuvarshini who are members of Google OS Run Times Team at Intel Technology India Pvt. Ltd.

NOTICES AND DISCLAIMERS

Tests document performance of components on a particular test, in specific systems. Differences in hardware, software, or configuration will affect actual performance. Consult other sources of information to evaluate performance as you consider your purchase. For more complete information about performance and benchmark results, visit www.intel.com/benchmarks.

TEST CONFIGURATION

ChromeBook: Google Pixel Slate

Software: Android 9.0, OpenGL ES GLSL ES 3.1 Mesa, Vulkan 1.0.76 Support

Hardware: Intel® m3-8100 Processor, 2x3.4 GHz CPU, 8GB RAM

Intel technologies’ features and benefits depend on system configuration and may require enabled hardware, software or service activation. Performance varies depending on system configuration. No computer system can be absolutely secure. Check with your system manufacturer or retailer or learn more at www.intel.com.

REFERENCES

[1]   “AR are perfect for Chromebooks", [Online]. Available: https://www.edsurge.com/news/2018-05-15-these-new-web-based-ar-and-vr-tools-are-perfect-for-chromebooks

[2]   AR definition https://www.realitytechnologies.com/augmented-reality/

[3]   "Augmented Reality," [Online]. Available: https://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/augmented-reality-versus-virtual-reality/3844772.html

[4]   "AR Concepts," [Online]. Available: https://developers.google.com/ar/discover/concepts