Augmented Reality or AR is the next big thing for Apple. After the announcement of a tool called ARKit, Apple has joined the league of Google, Microsoft, and many others that have been experimenting with AR for a long time.
But, the new ARKit by Apple that is available for iOS 11 beta, is already indicating that Apple will surely bring AR into the mainstream faster and much better than anyone else. The tool allows developers to place virtual objects in the real world through the iPhone’s camera.
ARKit is an API for building AR applications for iOS devices. Apple ARKit was revealed by the company earlier this month at this year’s WWDC. Now, it’s all set to be integrated onto millions of devices by the time iOS 11 is released later this year.
The company hasn’t yet revealed what apps will be integrated with ARKit internally, but the developers have started to make use of the tool and figured out what this tool is capable of. And the first notable feature of this technology has emerged as Simple tape-measuring. The app using the ARKit can measure the dimensions accurately.
It started with a quick demo by an app called ARuler that showed how to measure the length of a golf club. This demo got widely popular as it measured the distance quite accurately.
Also, a second, slightly more polished demo from Laan Labs hit the internet. Their solution, called ARMeasure, was complete with a virtual tape measure.
The main reason why many tech geeks are so excited by these demos is that before Apple built ARKit, these applications were really difficult to build and nearly impossible when using a standard camera. But, now with the help of this tool developers can build many of such apps that will work on iPhone’s camera.
We have already seen how little time it took to develop two seemingly accurate AR measuring apps with the iOS 11 beta version only. Apple is definitely having an advantage because of this ease of app development with ARKit. Also, ARKit requires only a recent iOS device so this is an added advantage in the contest with Google’s Tango that demands special hardware, phones laced with optical sensors.
Overall, Apple’s technique seems to do an excellent job of placing virtual objects into the real world. Also, the iPhone is much more convenient than Google’s Tango supporting devices. So, with iOS 11 update the iPhone will have much better apps with AR than its nearest Android devices.