Apple Dives Into Augmented Reality with ARKit for iOS 11

June 5, 2017

4:45 pm

This past year has been the year of augmented reality, as companies like Snap, Facebook, and Google have all offered apps that provide users with smart filters to augment reality. Today, Apple announced the launch of ARKit for the next version of the operating system iOS 11. This will place Apple and it’s large developer community more squarely in the augmented reality game. That said, let’s not forget that this past year one of Apple’s largest app hits was an augmented reality game, Pokémon Go.

So what does this mean for anyone interested in developing an augmented reality experience? Well, Apple just made it a whole heck of a lot easier, as developers can now access an API to build augmented reality applications. ARKit will provide “fast and stable motion tracking” which will further create the elusion that objects are being placed in real space, instead of just hovering over it.

Apple shared their vision of ARKit in a press release:

“Apple is introducing a new platform for developers to help them bring high-quality AR experiences to iPhone and iPad using the built-in camera, powerful processors and motion sensors in iOS devices. ARKit allows developers to tap into the latest computer vision technologies to build detailed and compelling virtual content on top of real-world scenes for interactive gaming, immersive shopping experiences, industrial design and more.”

Google already offers a competitor to ARKit called Tango, but it’s limited to just a few Android devices, while Apple’s offering will be available across the iOS ecosystem. That said, Apple is putting a stake in the AR ground today as Apple’s Craig Federighi called it:

“…The largest AR platform in the world.”

If Apple’s developer community latches onto the ARKit and runs with it, then iOS could not only be the largest AR platform by the numbers but also the standard. If you’re still trying to get your head wrapped around what the ARKit will be able to offer, this video (below) illustrates what Apple’s vision for augmented reality with its ARKit. It shows a game being played on an iPad as its being held over a coffee table – of course in reality, the coffee table is empty. Aside from decluttering your home, ARKit will be able to bring things to life in our world through the screens of our iOS devices.

Read more about augmented reality technology at Tech.Co

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Frank Gruber is the cofounder, CEO and Executive Editor of Tech.Co (formerly Tech Cocktail). He is the author of the book, Startup Mixology, Tech Cocktail’s Guide to Building, Growing, and Celebrating Startup Success. He is also a startup advisor and investor to startups. Find Frank Gruber online and follow him on Twitter at @FrankGruber.