apple

Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference 2017: Apple Unveils ARKit

Apple Unveils ARKit

A number of exciting new developments and updates have been announced at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference 2017 (WWDC 2017), including new versions of macOS, iOS, and watchOS platforms, as well as a new iPad Pro tablet, and the HomePod connected speaker device. And this year we’ll see Apple’s most popular platform, powering the iPhone and iPad, including ARKit for augmented reality apps.

Apple and Augmented Reality

Though Apple has been relatively quiet in the augmented reality space to date, CEO Tim Cook mentioned last year that the company was investigating it and that it could be a big growth area. Third-party apps such as Snapchat and Pokémon Go incorporated AR capacities, but Apple’s hardware and software hadn’t specifically been built to enable it. This is all changing with the unveiling of ARKit.

ARKit for the new iOS 11 was introduced during the opening keynote of WWDC 2017 and promises to bring augmented reality apps to compatible iPads and iPhones by allowing developers to control surface detection, motion tracking, ambient light scaling capabilities via the camera, GPU, and CPU, while also supporting SceneKit, Unity, and Unreal Engine. There will additionally be the offerings of machine learning, face tracking, photo recognition, and natural language capabilities. Some apps are already making use of these new features, including Lego and IKEA, while Pokémon Go has been enhanced with some of these functions. Notably, Facebook and Google have too publicized AR platforms recently, but Apple is calling ARKit the “largest AR platform in the world.”

Demonstrating the power of ARKit, the new development company founded by Peter Jackson, Wingnut AR, provided an animated scene rendered by Unreal Engine 4 of a post-apocalyptic outpost. The scene covered an entire table, and Wingnut AR’s Alasdair Coull exhibited the augmented reality tech to great effect with enemy aircraft flying in and dropping bombs on the outpost, while the outpost residents ran around the table either fleeing or fighting, and one poor villager jumped right off the edge of the table. It’s expected that this demo will be released later in the year as a full game.

Great Expectations

Since ARKit will enable augmented reality features on devices already in the market, Apple is quickly entering the fray on a very large scale. iOS 11 will support iPads Air, mini 2 and up, as well as iPhones 5S and SE and up, offering a huge already-active user base the chance to engage. Augmented reality professionals believe ARKit will make the move into AR far easier for consumers who are already familiar with the popular Apple technology, and it’s expected that AR ecosystems will grow around products to enable enhanced capabilities and potentials for the Apple AR facets. In the beta version, ARKit will only detect horizontal planes, and so matching the depth sensing or spatial mapping of Tango or HoloLens is still some time away; no doubt, however, we can expect rapid advances should the technology be well-liked and generally accepted.

Along with Apple TV’s addition of Amazon Prime Video to its content, the latest version of watchOS promising customization through machine learning, new fitness features, and greater third-party gadget compatibility, and new iPad-specific features, Apple’s venture into augmented reality confirms that the brand will continue to explore cutting edge technologies while providing the vast range of users with the user-friendly and accessible features that have made their products so popular.

By Jennifer Klostermann

Jennifer Klostermann

Jennifer Klostermann is an experienced writer with a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in writing and performance arts. She has studied further in both the design and mechanical engineering fields, and worked in a variety of areas including market research, business and IT management, and engineering. An avid technophile, Jen is intrigued by all the latest innovations and trending advances, and is happiest immersed in technology.

The Cloudification of Healthcare: Benefits and Risks

The Cloudification of Healthcare: Benefits and Risks

Cloud Healthcare: Benefits and Risks Many organizations are moving most of their business-critical applications and workloads to the cloud. The ...
The Economics, Concepts and Fundamentals of Cloud Computing

The Economics, Concepts and Fundamentals of Cloud Computing

Fundamentals of Cloud Computing Addressing security concerns of the Public Cloud Enthusiasm for cloud computing has as much to do ...
Battling Bandwidth: How to Make the Most of Collaboration Technology with What You’ve Got

Battling Bandwidth: How to Make the Most of Collaboration Technology with What You’ve Got

Collaboration Technology As collaboration technology adoption grows, high-definition (HD) video has become the industry standard and has replaced the traditional, ...
Beacons Flopped, But They’re About to Flourish in the Future

Beacons Flopped, But They’re About to Flourish in the Future

Cloud Beacons Flying High When Apple debuted cloud beacons in 2013, analysts predicted 250 million devices capable of serving as ...
Five Ways CPQ Is Revolutionizing Selling Today

Five Ways CPQ Is Revolutionizing Selling Today

CPQ Is Revolutionizing Selling Configure-Price-Quote (CPQ) continues to be one of the hottest enterprise apps today, fueled by the relentless ...
10 Charts That Will Change Your Perspective Of Amazon Prime’s Growth

10 Charts That Will Change Your Perspective Of Amazon Prime’s Growth

10 Charts That Will Change Your Perspective 70% of Americans with incomes of $150,000 or more who shop online have ...
F-Secure Takes A Big Step Towards Cyber Security Leadership By Acquiring MWR InfoSecurity

F-Secure Takes A Big Step Towards Cyber Security Leadership By Acquiring MWR InfoSecurity

Acquisition adds industry leading threat hunting platform to F-Secure’s detection and response offering and expands cyber security services to the biggest markets globally F-Secure Corporation, Stock Exchange Release 18 June, 2018 at 09:00 EEST F-Secure ...
AT&T Unveils $15-a-Month Video Service

AT&T Unveils $15-a-Month Video Service

Wireless company’s fees for programmers would depart from industry practice AT&T Inc. T -1.20% on Thursday unveiled a new video service, called WatchTV, that aims to use a “skinny bundle” of channels to recapture some ...
Amazon, Berkshire, JPMorgan name Atul Gawande CEO of healthcare venture

Amazon, Berkshire, JPMorgan name Atul Gawande CEO of healthcare venture

(Reuters) - Berkshire Hathaway Inc, Amazon.com Inc and JPMorgan Chase & Co on Wednesday named Atul Gawande as the chief executive officer of their health venture. The new company would be based in Boston and ...