It’s about time, but Apple finally did it. Earlier today in WWDC, Apple announced their ARkit (Augmented Reality kit) for developers, which shows that the company is planning to take Augmented Reality to the next level.
Google announced it’s augmented reality project, Tango, last year whereas third-party apps like SnapChat and Pokemon Go have been using this technology for quite some time. So, naturally, we expected Apple to step into the AR bandwagon and try its hand at augmented reality as well.
So what exactly is Apple’s strategy to take the lead? For starters, the ARkit opens a world of possibilities for developers. They can use it to develop apps that take advantage of this. For example, Apple showed, on-stage, an app that is in development by IKEA, which allow users to shop furniture from the comfort of their homes. Users can select the furniture they want, and by using the device’s camera, they can place the virtual furniture in their homes to see whether it looks good there or not.
Moreover, developers are encouraged to use the ARkit as it will work seamlessly on all iOS devices. Unlike project Tango where there are specific requirements for each device, the ARkit will be integrated throughout the Apple ecosystem without any hiccups or delays.
Apple has also showed some impressive capabilities regarding the ARkit. It can identify different objects, pin them to a single point and change their size depending upon the distance from where they are being viewed. More importantly, the ARkit will recognize flat surfaces, allowing developers to place digital props practically anywhere. To a layman, this means more AR focused apps. It is just a matter of time these apps will be trending in the App Store.
The step towards AR could also open possibilities for a VR project being announced by Apple in the near future. If a phone can track and scale the objects and the environment around it, then Apple could only be a few steps away from incorporating it into an even more incredible VR headset than previous models. The iPhone 8 rumored to pack a high resolution OLED screen and top notch specs would be more than capable in driving a VR headset.
The ARkit will give developers a more free hand in developing augmented reality based apps. Perhaps the next update of your favorite game would include an Augmented Reality mode. Whatever the case would be, be sure to be on the lookout for AR based apps with the arrival of iOS 11 this fall!