Following a demo earlier this year at WWDC, LEGO today launched the LEGO AR Playgrounds app for iPhone and iPad [Direct Link]. The app uses ARKit to place digital LEGO characters and blocks into real-world environments, and the digital creations can also interact with existing physical LEGO sets.
There are various "playgrounds" within the app that users will be able to explore, the first being LEGO Ninjago. Using select physical Ninjago Dragon Hunters sets, players will be able to interact with these sets to see special effects, animations, and characters come to life in augmented reality. These select sets include LEGO Ninjago Dieselnaut (70654) and the Lego Ninjago Dragon's Pit (70655).
With multi-user support in ARKit, two people will be able to play together in the same playground. In the Ninjago playground, two users can team up to battle against the Dragon Hunters, share power-ups, and strategize to survive through a wave-based attack mode.
"Children today are mastering the art of finding new moments and forms of play and LEGO Playgrounds will provide a 'live' opportunity to test and learn directly with them. It's truly a unique way to engage with them in a fun and experimental way and bring them close to our innovation process. Having this direct-link to users creates a win for everybody – sharing the latest play experiences is great fun for children and highly useful for our LEGO design and development teams who can take their feedback and use it to make launch experiences even better and more engaging."
If you don't have a physical set, LEGO Playgrounds allows you to play five levels without a set. Users will just need to find a flat surface and they'll be able to play these select levels in AR only. The LEGO Playgrounds app for iOS is free to play and there are no in-app purchases, ads, or marketing messages.
To use the AR features players will need an iPhone 6s and above on the latest version of iOS. Head to the iOS App Store to download LEGO AR Playgrounds for free today [Direct Link].