Tired of waiting for Microsoft and its HoloLens? If so, Apple has a solution that you can use right now if you have an iOS 11-compatible device. With it, you will be able to take a peek at what the future of mobile augmented reality may look like. In early June at WWDC, the Cupertino-based outfit first introduced developers to iOS 11’s ARKit, a set of tools and frameworks which allow developers to create mind-blowing experiences. Now, we’re starting to see some amazing results.
iOS 11’s ARKit
Unlike previous versions of iOS, there is real excitement surrounding this year’s release because it promises much more than a usability upgrade and the common bug-fixing routine. Instead, Apple fans are expecting a slew of new and useful features, along with tweaks to existing ones like Siri.
As far as iOS 11’s ARKit is concerned, we now for the very first time are starting to see videos popping up online. What we’re seeing from developers who have spent the required time to get to know it is incredible. However, among the few videos, there is one which was published on Twitter by the Mad With ARKit account that stands out.
Take a look….
— Made With ARKit (@madewithARKit) June 30, 2017
An AR journey
Thanks to the power of iOS 11’s ARKit, @nedd, the creator of the video above, has managed to create something spectacular. Imagine being able to walk down the street and on a whim, pass through an inter-dimensional portal.
From what we know about this use of ARKit, when the app is running, it enables a doorway to open up in a particular location. As you can see from the video, it enables a user to see the AR door, and the real world merged. Then all he/she has to do is simply walk through the portal into the immersive environment.
You may be wondering about the difference between Pokemon Go’s AR and ARKit; essentially, they do the same thing. However, Apple‘s ARKit uses a technology called SLAM, which is short for “simultaneous localization and mapping.” It enables a developer to create a digital outline of the objects in a room and then track a device’s location in relation to the objects.
Here’s a fantastic recreation of the moon landing that uses SLAM.
So unlike last year’s hugely popular AR gaming frenzy, iOS 11’s ARKit promises so much more. Not only can it track a device against objects in the same room, but it’s better at blending digital objects with the real-world. This means spatially-aware AR is here, and developers can work with almost any surface or environment, quickly mapping them out.
In a recent interview with The Australian, Apple exec Greg Joswiak said:
“Developers have built everything from virtual tape measures to ballerinas made out of wood dancing on floors. It’s incredible what people have done in so little time. I think there is a gigantic runway that we have here with the iPhone and the iPad. The fact we have a billion of these devices out there is quite an opportunity for developers.”
Right now, we are at the beginning of what iOS 11’s ARKit can show us. However, we’re also firmly entrenched at the dawn of AR as a whole, so there’s no telling what its future could offer. For now, all we can do is sit and be amazed at what these videos show us, although sometime in the near future, we may be using ARKit or something like it to explore, create and more.