Apple is known to be working on the Augmented Reality headset (something like Google Glass) even though there has not been any buzz about its development for quite some time now. However, the recent hint about Apple Glasses comes from the ARKit 2, which was announced during the Worldwide Developers Conference 2018 (WWDC).
AR features for Apple Glasses?
Anyone not having access to the iOS 12 beta may have easily missed Apple’s AR developments, but that does not negate the efforts that the company is putting in boosting its AR capabilities. Recent tweets by designer Harley Turan have some interesting revelations about ARKit 2.
Turan noted that the tracking capabilities of the ARKit 2 are “ridiculous,” and testing the updated system feels like “playing in the future.” Turan also talked about the augmented reality web browsing, a feature that seems to be custom made for the augmented reality headset or possibly Apple Glasses.
— Harley Turan (@hturan) June 19, 2018
Previously also, there have been reports and speculations about Apple investing in the augmented reality device. The latest one was about Apple agreeing to build headsets in collaboration with one of its supply partners. Another report suggested that an Apple supplier struck a deal with a manufacturer of AR-related components. Also, it is rumored that Apple executives met with a supplier of AR components at the CES 2018.
Back in April, CNET also reported that Apple might be working on an AR/VR headset, which would specifically be a Mixed Reality headset. Also, there are reports that the company might be planning for 8K display for the Apple Glasses. The 8k will be higher than the resolution of the best TV’s available today.
Bloomberg also came up with reports citing insiders at Apple that the company is working on a standalone AR device that would come packed with its own operating system: rOS. The OS that would power Apple Glasses would reportedly have its own ecosystem of apps and an App store. It implies that the device would not be dependent on the iPhone. Put it simply, Apple might be working on a headset that could work more as a replacement rather than the accessory wearable.
ARKit – what it does?
Apple launched the ARKit with the iOS 11 in 2017. Apple’s ARKit supports the app developers, who work with the iOS device’s camera, scanning images and objects in the environment along with positioning the 3D models in real space and making them fit in. The whole concept of the ARKit revolves around three essential things – tracking, scene understanding and rendering.
“ARKit combines device motion tracking, camera scene capture, advanced scene processing, and display conveniences to simplify the task of building an AR experience. You can use these technologies to create many kinds of AR experiences using either the back camera or front camera of an iOS device,” Apple says of ARKit.
Apple’s idea of AR has the capacity to transform the whole idea of interacting with AR apps by enabling virtual objects onto the real world to which users can return. For instance, a user can make and leave a puzzle on the table and come back to it later. Similarly, it can be used to create an art project, which involves weeks of work and where users can come back and continue from the exact point where they left off. These are some of the things that Apple aims to achieve with ARKit 2.
Apple ARKit 2 will offer a shared experience to make AR even more appealing on both the iPhone and iPad. The updated platform would allow multiple users to play a game or come together on various projects, like home renovations. Turning on the spectator mode would give family and friends the best view of AR gameplay from different iOS devices.
Demonstrating ARKit 2 persistence and shared experience at Apple’s annual developer conference, senior vice president of software engineering, Craig Federighi, showed an app that would allow people to use AR slingshots to shoot AR projectiles at each other’s AR wooden structures, something like Angry Birds mixed with Pokemon Go. Then, there was a Lego experience, wherein a real-world Lego building was turned into the cornerstone of a block-sized cooperative AR adventure in which all the other characters, vehicles and buildings were virtual.
Apple ARKit 2 also comes with the ability of image detection and tracking that can be deployed to detect 3D objects, such as toys or sculptures. It also allows overlapping the reflection of the real world onto the AR objects to render a more realistic view of the virtual and real world.