Apple introduced ARKit for the new iOS11 at WWDC at San Jose. The ARKit will bring augmented reality apps to millions of compatible iPhones and iPads. This is a massive announcement considering the fact that all the big companies like Google, Microsoft, Facebook are working tirelessly on AR technology.
ARKit will allow the developers to access the motion tracking, ambient light scaling capability using the camera, surface detection, GPU, CPU with no additional hardware required. The development kit will also support Unity and Unreal game engines.
Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering demonstrated the use of ARkit on stage during the event. He showed how an iPhone can detect any horizontal surface and can also place a virtual object on it. The object reacted to one another with a virtual lamp projecting shadow behind the object.
Apple announces that the ARKit feature will be supported by iOS11. iOS11 will support iPhone 5s and SE and up models. iOS11 will also support iPads Air and mini 2 and up models.
Apple might have jumped in the AR market but it is still behind its competitors. It remains to be seen that whether Apple will be able to match the depth and spatial mapping of HoloLens or Google Tango. ARKit only relies on the estimation of space, lighting, and scale instead of using dedicated sensors. Also, ARKit will only detect the horizontal surface and not the vertical ones.
But, whatever be the case one thing is for sure that Apple is trying to make its presence felt in AR market and it’s not a bad start from the company.
Image Source: CNBC