At the recent WWDC (Worldwide Developers Conference) in California, Apple announced a tool called ARKit, which has been designed to provide advanced Augmented Reality (AR) features and capabilities on iOS.
It will support ‘fast and stable motion tracking’, meaning digital objects displayed on screen will appear seamlessly as part of the user’s real-world surroundings. Think Pokémon GO, but smoother, quicker, and better.
So, what does this actually mean?
Well, we’ve pulled together 11 facts, thoughts, and conclusions from the big announcement to help you understand the magnitude of this exciting development.
Apple's Augmented Reality - Here's What You Need to Know
1. Apple announced that the new iOS 11 (released this fall) will support ARKit for Augmented Reality (AR).
2. What is it? - In short, it integrates the iOS device camera and motion features to produce Augmented Reality experiences in iOs apps.
3. The ARKit is a new framework. It will allow developers to easily create unparalleled AR experiences for iPhone and iPad.
4. This will blend digital objects and information with the real-world environment around us, resulting in a new way of interaction.
5. After keeping something of a low profile, Apple is finally in the AR game!
6. In the words of Apple CEO Tim Cook, AR is going to be “huge.”
“I regard it as a big idea like the smartphone. The smartphone is for everyone, we don't have to think the iPhone is about a certain demographic, or country or vertical market: it’s for everyone. I think AR is that big, it’s HUGE.”
Tim Cook, Apple CEO.
7. In two years, everyone will know what Augmented Reality is, and what AR stands for.
8. It’s a game-changing technological advancement; one that will offer a better user experience than 2D.
9. It’s exactly like the Ford Model T - there are other AR tools available, but ARKit will be the first used by the mass market. In fact, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering Craig Federighi describes it as “AR like you’ve never seen it before.”
10. Your typical mobile app is about to change. Mobile developers aren’t enough anymore; Unity (and Unreal) is the new trend in technology. If you’re building the iOS app of the future, you need to hire Unity developers ASAP!
11. Finally, remember Pokémon GO? ARKit will offer Pokémon GO on steroids.
The Largest AR Platform in the World
Up until this announcement, we’ve seen third-party AR-centric apps like the aforementioned Pokémon GO and Snapchat dominate in both popularity and functionality.
But this announcement means Apple’s devices and software will now be primed to enable AR features from the outset.
While Google has some skin in the AR game with Tango, it’s only available on select Android devices. ARKit, on the other hand, will be available across all iOS devices, making it - according to Federighi - the “largest AR platform in the world.”
And we can’t wait to see it in action.