Following months of conjecture about the exact nature of its yearnings for augmented reality, Apple has announced a tool named ARKit. It’s a platform that Apple says is the “largest AR platform in the world.”
Designed to be a part of iOS 11, ARKit is noteworthy because it intends to take Apple’s installed iPhone base and offer developers a suite of tools to develop dedicated augmented reality apps for iPhones and iPads. During the WWDC keynote, the demos Apple showed off were focused on games. However, this platform indicates that augmented reality has real enterprise uses too.
The demonstration Apple showed off was a pretty basic depiction of ARKit; drawing information from your iOS device’s sensors and cameras, you can map the flat surface of a table and put a teacup on it with realistic aspects. However, theoretically, you can create much more complex experiences. Wingnut AR, Sir Peter Jackson’s studio came with a complex AR landscape made in Unreal Engine, which ARKit has support for. Currently, it also supporting Unity and SceneKit and will support iPhone and iPad.
Google already has its augmented reality platform, but it’s limited to a few Android devices. However, ARKit will be available across the iOS ecosystem, which is the biggest advantage Apple has with this platform.