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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

ARKit introduction

Apple has announced at WWDC17 a new iOS framework called ARKit. It's a framework that "allows you to easily create unparalleled augmented reality experiences for iPhone and iPad". The framework is shipped with the iOS 11 (currently in beta) and it's only supported by iOS devices that are powered by Apple's A9 or A10 chip. This means that it won't be working on older devices like iPhone 5S or iPad Mini. In addition, you can't use it in the simulator so you have to update your iPhone/iPad with the latest beta (iOS 11 SDK is only available in Xcode 9).

AR - creating the illusion that virtual objects are placed in a physical world using a camera.

We know that Augmented Reality isn't new but AR is getting a lot of buzz right now because of the Apple's new framework. One of the first and probably the most famous app that showed us the power of AR in apps was Pokemon Go. Achieving apps with the same interactivity as Pokemon Go isn't easy and that's why I think that ARKit will make the difference.

With this new framework, AR will be more accessible to developers by bringing native AR support to iOS. It does lighting estimation using the camera sensor, it can analyse what's presented by the camera view and find horizontal planes like tables and floors and it can place and track objects on anchor points. You can even render 3D objects using Metal, SceneKit, and third-party tools like Unity and Unreal Engine. ARKit does all of this with great performance and it's well documented.

Need some ideas to use ARKit? You can check madewitharkit and get a feeling about what's possible to achieve by incorporating this framework on your apps.

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