In the keynote, at the ongoing WWDC 2018, Apple has shared their latest version of Augmented reality toolkit, ARKit 2.0. The primary focus of Apple this year is primarily on improving the user experience and making the Apple devices perform better with improved functionalities. ARKit 2 features realistic rendering, multiplayer experiences, a new file format, and more.
Shared Augmented reality
With ARKit 2.0, you can now collaborate with multiple other users in a virtual environment. Apple says “Shared experiences with ARKit 2 make AR, even more, engaging on iPhone and iPad, allowing multiple users to play a game or collaborate on projects like home renovations.” There is also a new spectator mode, if you are keen on watching the game, instead of playing it. With this mode, you will see and experience what the players see and observe.
AR that stays the same
Persistent AR, as Apple likes to call it, is also another fabulous feature in ARKit 2.0. You can now leave virtual objects in the living world and then return back to them later in time. Interacting with AR becomes more life-like as you can now start a puzzle on a table and come back to it later in the same state. Image detection and tracking also get an update with ARKit 2.0. It can now detect 3D objects like toys or sculptures, and can also apply reflections of the real world onto AR objects.
A new file format
Apple has introduced a new open file format, usdz, in collaboration with Pixar. This file format is optimized for sharing in apps like Messages, Safari, Mail, Files, and News while retaining powerful graphics and animation features. The format enables the new Quicklook for AR feature, which allows users to place 3D objects into the real world.
usdz is a part of the developer preview of iOS 12. It will be available this fall as part of a free software update for iPhone and iPad 2018 models.
The Measure app
Apple also unveiled its very own AR measuring app. The new iOS 12 app automatically provides the dimensions of objects like picture frames, posters, and signs, and can also show diagonal measurements, and compute area. Users can either take a photo or share these dimensions from their iPhone or iPad.
You can tune into Apple’s WWDC event website to watch the keynote and read about other exciting releases.