ARKit: Augmented Reality basic overview

Apple, at its World Wide Developer Conference 2017, introduced ARKit iOS augmented reality framework. ARKit is a framework that allows developers to create Augmented Reality apps on an iPhone or iPad. Apple is betting big on Augmented Reality and with the inclusion of ARKit in iOS 11 it upholds Apple’s belief for Augmented Reality now that more and more apps will be able to make use of it. We run through some of the main aspects of ARKit in this article.

What is Augmented Reality?

Augmented Reality or AR is very similar to Virtual Reality with the difference being that AR makes use of the world around you while VR replaces everything by immersing you in a whole new world. For starters, AR is overall uncomplicated and anyone can use it by just pointing the camera to the subject. There are already a lot of AR applications, and the technological applications of this tech is endless. You could just point to a car and get details of the car like fuel economy, top speed, price, etc. The uses of this tech is endless.

What is ARKit?

ARKit is a new framework, from Apple, that allows developers to create augmented reality apps easily through an app on their iPhone or iPad. It makes use of hardware sensors like GPS and Camera through a tech called Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM)

Apps like Pokemon GO and Google Translate already make use of Augmented Reality. Pokemon GO uses real world maps to display the nearby Pokemon while Google Translate has the ability to translate text through the device camera. ARKit uses Visual Inertial Odometry (VIO) to accurate track the world around it.

How is ARKit different and its Limitations?

ARKit is a AR developing tool that is coming directly from Apple. For once, Millions of Developers get access to this new technology. The Application of this technology will boom and the demo’s that developers have come out, speak for themselves. <add link for ARKit Developers Demo’s>

ARKit is not the first and only AR developer tool currently available. Microsoft has introduced Hololens and Google has Tango AR tool under its belt. Hololens and Tango are advanced tools that can augment multiple physical which is a limitation for ARKit as it can only augment flat surfaces. ARKit requires iOS 11 to run these AR apps so any device that does not support iOS 11 will not support the AR Apps.

ARKit and the new iPhones and iPads

Apple is said to unveil the iPhone 8 next month, that is September. Apple iPhone 8 is expected to have tons of hardware and software features that will allow developers to use ARKit to its full extent. Apple’s newest iPad Pro 10.5-inch model uses a display with a refresh rate of 120Hz, which means that what you see on the display will be faster, compared to a 60 Hz refresh rate display, and more true to life. So expect the new display to make it to the new iPhone and with lots of more other hardware and software features for ARKit because at the end of the day, people use their iPhones more than the iPads and it makes sense to Apple to push ARKit more on iPhones than on iPads.

Shuaib Imran Author

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