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The iOS 11.3 update, seeded to developers and public beta testers last week, introduces ARKit 1.5, an upgraded version of the set of tools developers can use to create augmented reality apps for the iPhone and the iPad.

As it turns out, ARKit 1.5 can do a lot of neat things. It can map irregularly shaped surfaces for better detection of your surroundings, and it can also recognize and map vertical surfaces like walls and doors, so you can use AR to place and detect items on walls.

Over the course of the last week, developers have been testing out ARKit 1.5 and sharing short demo videos on Twitter, providing a look at just what will be possible with augmented reality apps when iOS 11.3 is available.

Apple_AR_Experience_01232018-800x533.jpg

Vertical surface detection, for example, is shown off in the video below. A realistic-looking tunnel is projected on a wall, and while this doesn't have any immediate usage implications, it's a useful demo of how ARKit sees walls in iOS 11.3.

So I've been playing with the new ARKit wall detection today...what do you think?#arkit #madewitharkit #augmentedreality #iOS113 #arkit15 #ar #AugmentedReality pic.twitter.com/J9tj6sJf9S - Ubicolor(TM) (@ubicolorapps) January 25, 2018

An example of how vertical plane detection can be used in augmented reality games is demonstrated in the video below, where creatures projected into open space take advantage of the area around them.

Made a weird #GGJ18 game Creature-z this weekend with @tristan_damron, @marknerys and @ericklind using #ARkit verticalPlane detection. Big up to @PIGSquad for hosting pic.twitter.com/BKRdhVKHvq - lauri (^?^)? (@lingoded) January 29, 2018

Another demo adds virtual artwork to a blank wall, a concept that could potentially be used in an art gallery or museum where art is invisible without a smartphone.


Vertical plane detection is used in the video below to show a realistic-looking virtual cockatoo coming through a window and landing on a windowsill.

Look what flew in through my window today... #ARKit pic.twitter.com/MFYYQlBjP4 - Abhishek Singh (@shekitup) January 31, 2018

In addition to mapping oddly shaped spaces and recognizing vertical surfaces, ARKit 1.5 also includes image detection features that work on everything from movie posters to barcodes, as demoed below. In the future, you might be able to scan a barcode with ARKit to get a virtual popup of nutritional information, calories, and more.

In ARKit 1.5 reference images can be any image. Including barcodes!!!! #ARKit #AugmentedReality pic.twitter.com/8fwJTcSoRo - azamsharp (@azamsharp) January 31, 2018

Image detection could be useful in settings like art galleries and museums, where visitors could use it to scan paintings and exhibits to receive more information, as shown off in the video below.

#arkit image detection 1st try: success! As @Apple said, great feature for museums. Now I need content for 2300 paintings @NationalGallery pic.twitter.com/1m3LZVVCfJ - Romain Derrien (@LondonRom) January 28, 2018

Though not visible in the demo videos shared by developers, ARKit 1.5 also introduces a higher camera resolution, so passthrough video is 1080p rather than 720p, and there's also support for autofocus capabilities, another feature that will improve the augmented reality experience on iOS devices.

Recent data has suggested that the ARKit framework has seen only modest adoption from developers and stagnating growth since its debut in iOS 11, but improvements like ARKit 1.5 may change that in the future. Augmented reality on iOS devices is still in its infancy and it will take time for developers and users to discover the best real-world use cases for the technology.

Apps using ARKit 1.5 will be available starting this spring when iOS 11.3 is released to the public.


Article Link: Developers Demo Augmented Reality Improvements Coming in iOS 11.3
 

itsmilo

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Sep 15, 2016
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Not hating but is anyone actually really using AR to advance their daily work flow? I have yet to find any use for it. I feel like even on Pokemon Go most people turn AR off

Its just weird to hold your phone up on your face like that and spin around like a crazy person. Imagine using it in combination with Siri haha smartphone zombies 2.0
 

nilcoalescingoperator

macrumors newbie
Apr 15, 2016
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I have two main issues with ARKit as it stands. 1) No built-in occlusion. Put your hand in front of an AR object and it floats on top. This sucks. Apple could implement this on phones with dual cameras. 2) You have to stare at your phone to see a smaller version of reality with something on top. I'd rather enjoy actual reality. I could see ARKit having niche uses for games, industry (scanning objects, placement of objects in a store, etc…), but for general use? I feel like it's a solution looking for a problem.
 

Will.O.Bie

macrumors 6502
Aug 29, 2016
458
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I think AR is only useful to a select few that might find it useful or even fun to play around with the first few days, after that it's old. For someone like a real estate agent, interior or exterior designer, yes, but to the regular public, I don't think this will catch on.
 

whiteboytrash

macrumors 6502
Jul 15, 2007
471
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I have two main issues with ARKit as it stands. 1) No built-in occlusion. Put your hand in front of an AR object and it floats on top. This sucks. Apple could implement this on phones with dual cameras. 2) You have to stare at your phone to see a smaller version of reality with something on top. I'd rather enjoy actual reality. I could see ARKit having niche uses for games, industry (scanning objects, placement of objects in a store, etc…), but for general use? I feel like it's a solution looking for a problem.

Industrial use of AR is way more advanced and useful than you are seeing on your phone.

ARKit 1.5 now has horizontal and vertical plane detection so you can now achieve occlusion, it’s just not fast enough if you wave your hand in front of the camera. However it now detects walls so you can have a zombie peering around a wall etc. Again AR in factories etc. is far more useful a superior than a consumer phone use case.

Boeing is using it for their engineers to detect t engine system and provide indicators and pointers to engine parts and the sequence to test. Medical is already taken huge advances. All of this is a glasses based technology rather than phone.
 
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keatth

macrumors 6502a
Aug 24, 2013
512
142
You guys are crazy. AR is the future. We will all have contact lenses with AR built in, most of the economy will be digitized.
 
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DynaFXD

macrumors 6502a
Jun 15, 2010
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Ya know, they could use ARKit to develop a Harry Potter based messaging app. Something like your phone lets out an owl call, you pick it up and look around to find Hedwig (something like that cockatoo demo), then a message drops in your inbox. Pull that off and I am pretty sure my wife would run to the store to grab whatever iPhone was needed to do it smoothly.
 
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mtneer

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Sep 15, 2012
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I think this is more promise than product unfortunately. I believe it will take something big (from Apple?) to tip usage beyond the handful of novelty apps currently using this.
 

Tech198

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Mar 21, 2011
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Apple reckons they have a "nitch" (or an itch).. i forget which one.

I still say, although technology is good to have, you must still get the picture anyway, so if your gonna do that,, you may as well also align it up, rather than use your phone

They'll be uses.
 

Swampthing

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Mar 5, 2004
651
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Apple can keep refining their AR Kit all the time, but it really doesn't matter if the software out there isn't that great. Right now I have a very hard time finding any "killer apps" that use AR spectacularly well.

Pokemon Go is fine, and if those developers ever get off their butt and release the Walking Dead: Our World... but those games really need to be done well to make the case for continued AR gaming. Right now the AR section of the iTunes store is mostly junk that seems to have an AR mode thrown in at the last minute.
 
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funinhounslow

macrumors newbie
Nov 26, 2017
23
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That art gallery application is the only remotely compelling use of this technology that I've seen yet. Point your phone at a painting or exhibit in a museum and get more information on the object in question - this would only be useful though if you were given more information than was shown on the exhibit's label.
 
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