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Apple’s ARKit in iOS 11: Augmented Reality Goes Mainstream

  • By Hidden Brains
  • October 5, 2017

ARKit in iOS 11

Apple is investing high on Augmented Reality and considers as a revolutionary technology that would soon dominate all mobile apps. No doubt that AR is a disruptive technology that enables users to add digital objects in the real world scenario and experience it at first hand.

ARKit is a framework that will allow iOS app developers to build intuitive apps using Augmented Reality technology. This framework was the major highlight of iOS 11 announcement, after which developers have started researching on how they could make the most of this platform.

augmented reality sdk
Image Courtesy: Apple

ARKit in iOS 11: Taking Apps Beyond the Screen

Mobile app development is a growing arena that is constantly triggered with innovation in technology and changing behavioral pattern of users. Augmented Reality is the new craze of this highly digital world, as a result of which Apple takes a stride with the launch of ARKit.

As Apple says, ARKit is a framework that enables developers to create unparalleled augmented reality experiences. To break the monotony of types of apps available in iTunes, Apple introduced this ARKit to empower developers to create unique Augmented Reality experiences.

Perfect blending of digital objects with the real world surroundings increases the interactive quotient of users. Augmented Reality pushes mobile apps beyond the mobile screen and brings them out in the real world. For example: Pokémon Go game got all the players out on the streets to explore their surroundings in quest of searching for Pokies.

When apps move out of mobile screen and relate to real world to create perfect Augmented Reality experience, users get the benefit of complete immersive experience. Developers feel more empowered and encouraged with ARKit to build mobile apps and games that offer Augmented Reality experience to end users.

Technologies used in ARKit

Hire iPhone app developers that have deep understanding in following technologies to ensure that they can deliver best output when working with ARKit:

  • Visual Inertial Odometry (VIO)  

augmented reality apps ios
Image Courtesy: Apple

The core element of Augmented Reality is to map the real world surroundings. Visual Inertial Odometry (VIO) in ARKit does the same – it tracks the surrounding world accurately. With the data gathered from camera sensor and CoreMotion, VIO fuses and analyzes the surrounding elements. The combined data of camera and CoreMotion enables the device to know how it moves around the room accurately.

  • Lighting Estimation & Surface Detection

ARKit in iOS 11
Image Courtesy: Apple

ARKit enables iPhone and iPad to precisely figure out flat and horizontal surfaces such as floor, tables, and beds in order to accurately position virtual objects in the real world scenario. In addition to that, ARKit utilizes the camera sensor to know the amount of light and overall lighting condition of a scene. Based on the current lighting condition, it applies similar lighting effect to the virtual object to make look as a part of real world surroundings.

  • Utilization of High-End Hardware

ARKit is coming into existence with iOS 11 that would be available in upcoming iPhone 8 handsets. In short, ARKit is sure to work on nothing less than A9 and A10 processors. These processors deliver ultra-fast performance in terms of understanding the surroundings and placing virtual content or objects that blend well with real world. Developers are free to make the most of ARKit in Metal, SceneKit, and third-party tools like Unity and Unreal Engine.

Image Courtesy: Apple

ARKit: What kinds of apps would be made available to users?

ARKit has opened new paths for building of mobile apps in categories such as games, AR social media apps, maps & navigation, shopping, entertainment, educational and many more. Though games have emerged as the most popular AR apps till now, users will get exposure on many other types of apps with the launch of ARKit by Apple. 

Final Thoughts…

Though Apple hasn’t declared as to which devices support ARKit, its new upcoming model iPhone 8 would surely come with this Augmented Reality power. If rumors are to be believed, massive changes in camera of iPhone 8 to make it more powerful only support the assumption that iPhone 8 will come with AR capabilities. If going by specifications of processor to support ARKit, all those handsets and tablets with A9 and A10 processor would get this new framework.

Augmented reality is going mainstream with this giant leap taken by Apple Inc. The company expects to bring the most unique, immersive and interactive experience of mobile apps to users with this introduction of ARKit. Now that the gates will open for developers to experiment with ARKit, it would be quite exciting to see how they utilize it to build innovative mobile apps. 

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