June 5, 2018
Yesterday at WWDC – Apple’s yearly developers conference - the latest iteration of ARKit was announced, following suit of Google’s ARCore update early last month. It was at last year’s WWDC that we got a first look at ARKit and over the past year, there has been a lot of improvements and additional features to the platform.
What is ARKit?
The ARKit is an augmented reality SDK for IOS devices from Apple. It provides developers the tools to create augmented reality apps and publish them to IOS App store or out to internal devices though an Enterprise license. ARKit currently works on a wide range of Apple devices with all IPhones from the IPhone SE and up alongside IPad Pros being able to support ARKit also.
So, what does ARKit 2.0 add?
One of the biggest features was the addition of shared experiences, allowing multiple IOS devices to share the same AR play-space, opening a huge range of possibilities across a range of industries and bringing collaborative experiences to mobile AR. This is similar to Google’s ARCore Cloud Anchor Capability that they revealed at I/O last month .
3D Object Detection
With ARKit 1.0, we could detect flat objects such as wall, book covers and floors but with the introduction of ARKit 2.0 are now going to be able to detect fully 3D objects. This is a huge step forward as it allows for more interaction between virtual objects in the experience and the real world.
Alongside Shared experiences, persistent experience is the most exciting announcement with Apple stating:
Persistent AR will also change the way consumers interact with AR apps by creating opportunities to leave virtual objects in the real world to which users can return. They can start a puzzle on a table and come back to it later in the same state or create an art project over the course of a few weeks without starting over each time.
Persistent AR is something that until this point, has only been achievable with higher end headsets such as the Microsoft HoloLens, so this addition to a mobile AR platform is fantastic, opening up a huge new range of opportunities for platforms across sectors.
Apple has continued to show its passion and ambition for AR and its future. ARKit’s 2.0 release is going to help add even more possibilities of use cases for mobile AR. At Pocket Sized Hands we are very excited to see what this means for the future of Mixed Reality technologies.
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