Since the advent of Augmented Reality, most of the tech giants are focussing on this technology. Apple is extremely interested in this technology came up with this ARKit for its developers.
We all use many apps on our smartphones that employ this technology. One of the interesting examples is Snapchat.
All the filters that you use in Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, etc. are applied using AR technology.
So, Apple knows the importance of AR. Hence, it launched ARKit in 2017 as a part of iOS 11 to create AR apps for iOS devices.
If you are an iOS developer, then this article is going to be very important for you. So, don’t miss it.
What is Augmented Reality?
If you are an iOS developer but do not know anything about augmented reality, here is a quick glance.
Just like Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality is also a type of artificial environment that provides you an interactional experience by adding virtual objects in the real world.
Most people mix up the concept of AR and VR. But both are very much different. Virtual Reality takes you in a new and immersive environment. Whereas AR adds artificial objects in your real-world.
Moreover, if you want to learn about Augmented Reality in detail, Click Here.
What is Apple ARKit?
Apple ARKit, just like Google ARCore is a development platform that you can use to create AR experiences in your Apps and Games.
All it requires is your iOS camera, processors, and motion sensors to create an immersive interaction.
Now, if you are an iOS user then you might know that there is no such application enabled on your phone. Rather, it uses a technology called Visual Odometry which tracks down the world around your iPhone.
Moreover, Visual Odometry enables an iOS device to sense the movement around your room. With this, ARKit analyzes the room’s layout and detects the horizontal planes such as tables and floors.
Now you might be thinking that what is the point of detecting these horizontal planes? Actually, all the virtual objects are placed on these horizontal surfaces in your real environment.
An important thing to note here is that ARKit is not an IDE to create a console application for your device. Rather, it helps you and your device to embed virtual objects in the real world.
Moreover, this kit helps to add new features to your snaps, etc.
However, developers can design new apps and add the functionalities of this kit to their applications.
Why you should use Apple ARKit?
With the help of ARKit, you are free to create any type of experience using various other apps. For example, Ikea helps you to preview its products in your own home before actually buying them.
With ARKit, there is a whole new category opened up for each iOS device.
Moreover, Apple is rumored to be working on an AR headset (namely Apple AR Glasses). So, you can enjoy these glasses if you have Apple ARKit on your iOS device.
Also, in 2018, Apple launched ARKit 2 with iOS 12. This update brought a brand new feature of AR in the market. “Multiplayer“-being its key feature enables multiple users to view the same AR scene.
The biggest advantage of this update is that you can pause your user experience at your will and then return back and resume your virtual scenario.
MUST-READ: What is Mixed Reality?
What’s new in ARKit 3?
Apple launched ARKit 3 recently in 2019 with plenty of updates that have definitely delighted its users. Guess what? ARKit comes with a Motion Capture feature. So, you can integrate your movement AR apps.
With this feature, AR content will naturally appear in front of or behind the people. This will actually increase the level of immersion of AR apps.
Moreover, now Apple provides support for the rear as well as the front camera. However, the front camera can only track up to 3 faces at an instance.
Don’t feel disappointed but the majority of the features in this update will only be available on the latest iOS devices. Devices with A12 or A12X Bionic chips, Apple Neural Engine and True Depth Camera support this feature.
So, you need at least iPhone XR to enjoy these new features.
Which iOS Device is best to Handle ARKit Apps?
As you all know, Apple devices are very stable and these devices can handle very heavy apps easily. These devices are master in running graphic-intensive apps very easily.
However, the minimum requirement to run Apple ARKit is iOS 11. To run Apple ARKit, your device must be upgraded with iOS 11 patchworks.
Moreover, a newer device always has an advantage due to its latest features. For AR apps, you need a better display and post-2017 iOS devices have a refresh rate of 120Hz. So, you won’t face any difficulty at all.
MUST-READ: What is Extended Reality?
How can you Build ARKit Apps?
From the developer’s point of view, the most important question is “How can you design an application which uses ARKit?”
If you want to build games that use the AR, then you need to learn the Unity game engine and merge the features of ARKit into your applications.
Besides this, if you don’t want to learn Unity in any way then you need to program your game or application in XCode. It is compulsory to learn XCode if you want to develop iOS applications.
However, I would suggest you learn Unity. Unity has a user-friendly interface which makes it a preferred choice for developers.
Below are the steps you must follow to develop an app using ARKit:
- Start learning a programming environment that best suits your application. (Learn Unity at first).
- Master the skill of using ARKit plugin in your programming environment.
- Merge the functionalities of ARKit in your application to create specific features for iOS devices.
- So, learn Unity or xCode and ARKit plugin interactively.
- Moreover, you can go through Apple’s tutorials. These tutorials will properly guide you regarding ARKit. Do visit their website.
So, guys, this was all about Apple ARKit and its functionalities.
If you have any doubts regarding Apple ARKit or you have any queries regarding anything in the VR industry, just text us on our social media handles.