For the last couple of years, Apple has been rather quiet in their AR or VR developments. We’ve seen only Siri and smart Quicktype at iOS 10. Their competitors took the stage, introducing Alexa from Amazon, Hololens from Microsoft, and Project Tango, powered by Google. The game was strong, and Apple seemed not to be invited to this party until Apple released ARKit, which created the ‘boom’ effect, and now it is stated to be the biggest AR platform in the world.
1. Expanded possibilities for developers and apps
ARKit is useful for mobile developers who work with the iOS platform, as now they have more space for their actions and capabilities to involve AR into their applications. The framework offers tools, resources, motion detectors that cooperate with the device’s camera, and makes it possible for developers and their software to thread elements of augmented reality easily into the world around them. The digital tools will be available in real life through AR. AR, as you know it in Pokemon GO, was only a hint to the real functionality of AR. In the case of Pokemon GO, many users reported the game was way better without AR. ARKit will introduce another AR for mass use in everyday life as we’ve never experienced.
2. The rivalry with Google and Facebook
Apple took too long with the ARKit release, because the competition is strong. To take a niche, the company must think further than Facebook and Google have been doing so far. Both companies have contributed a lot to the development of this branch of technology. The first glance advantage the ARKit has is that it is compatible with all existing Apple devices powered by the A9 or A10 chip. Project Tango’s integration would take a particular customized Android hardware. Facebook AR is directed only at its camera as for now. Apple has a significant advantage, as the amount of their devices and users is huge, and their ARKit is widely applicable.
3. How does ARKit operate?
The usual AR technology is based on 3D models to work properly. However, ARKit uses innovative technology called VIO – Visual Inertial Odometry. It combines the data from the CoreMotion sensor and the device’s camera to track the movement of the device in a room. ARKit tracks the number of points in the environment during the device’s motion. The process’s name is ‘world tracking’, as it intertwines elements of the virtual world into the real world through the projected geometry method. This technology should enhance and customize users’ AR experience, providing developers with tools to integrate into their apps, and it gives lots of options to developers. An essential factor is the power of A9 and A10 chips, which makes it possible. Also, ARKit provides precise data, without the need to calibrate it externally.
4. The function of two cameras
Apple is famous for its reduction processes, like headphone jack deletion. However, another thing that made people talk was the dual cameras. As ARKit was announced, it was clear why such technology is reasonable. The Dual camera will help to determine the distance between two points from the location of the device in an easier way, making triangulation possible. Two cameras in sync create a better-quality picture, making the overall experience cooler, more accurate due to deep sensing and enhanced zoom capabilities. It will bring such simple things as maps to a brand-new level of precision and help see both background and foreground objects.
5. Finding horizontal lines and sensing lighting
All the horizontal lines are detected by ARKit, so it identifies floors and desks and other regular objects. As soon as the form is detected, the user can place different virtual things on this virtual horizontal surface. The scene detection is performed through the built-in camera with patterns to recognize each type of surface. The camera is also sensitive to light and can determine the amount of light in each scene, it is made to ensure the virtual objects on the surface in each scene have enough lighting and look good and natural. ARKit has great functionality, as the creators took care of many details, like perspective and scale tracking, lighting amount, shadow amendment, hit tests of virtual objects to make sure the picture not only looks good, but also is usual to the eye and has high quality.
As soon as the scene detection and evaluation of lighting is done, virtual elements can be reconstructed in the real environment.
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