Hands-On With Apple's 'ARKit' Augmented Reality Demo for Developers
With iOS 11, Apple is delving into augmented reality in a big way, introducing an ARKit development platform that will allow developers to quickly and easily build augmented reality experiences into their apps and games.
ARKit is positioned to be the largest AR platform in the world when it launches this fall, using the camera, processors, and motion sensors in the iPhone and iPad to create some incredibly impressive augmented reality interactions.
While we won't see the first augmented reality apps and games built on ARKit for a couple of months, Apple has an ARKit demo app to show off what ARKit can do. We went hands-on with the demo to give MacRumors readers just a small taste of what to expect.
ARKit uses technology called Visual Inertial Odometry to track the world around an iPad or iPhone, allowing a device to sense how it moves in a room. ARKit automatically analyzes a room's layout, detecting horizontal planes like tables and floors, which then allows virtual objects to be placed upon those surfaces.
With ARKit able to place any virtual object within a physical room, developers can create all kinds of unique experiences, and developers have already released several demos showing what might be possible.
Apple already has at least one major retailer on board to use ARKit -- IKEA. IKEA is developing a new augmented reality app built on ARKit that will let customers preview IKEA products in their own homes before making a purchase. IKEA has offered augmented reality functionality for a few years now, but the company says Apple's new platform will much improve the experience. With ARKit available, IKEA says augmented reality will now "play a key role" in new product lines.
For additional details on other developer tools and features coming in iOS 11, make sure to check out our full iOS 11 roundup.