What is Augmented Reality (AR) for iOS and why would someone want to use it? We’ll talk about some cool AR apps and games for iOS 11 for iPhone and iPad. AR is often confused with VR, but AR and VR are quite different. Virtual reality is a completely digital experience, while augmented reality…combines actual reality with digital or virtual reality overlays. One of the most recognizable AR experiences to date is Pokémon Go! You see your actual surroundings as viewed through the lens of your phone’s camera augmented with the Pokémon you can capture. You can throw your digital Pokeball to catch ‘em all or let it escape. This is an augmented reality experience. For those of you lucky enough to try Google Glass back in the day, that was a great example of a more practical AR experience. Digital overlays of maps, photos and videos, time, etc. could be overlayed onto what you were actually seeing to make daily tasks a little easier. It was like having robot eyes!
Apple has done a lot to champion augmented reality and make it accessible to the masses via the iPhone. As part of iOS 11, Apple included ARKit framework, allowing developers to easily create AR experiences, which will mean that more developers will be working new experiences like these. Let’s take a look at some of the more popular AR apps you can use right now.
Cool AR Apps
Ikea Place is an app that lets you see how new furniture will look in your home. Edmunds has an app that shows you whether a car you are considering will fit in your garage! Modiface Makup lets you virtually try on makeup and purchase directly from the app, and MeasureKit will let you measure something if you can’t find a ruler.
Cool AR Games
With HoloGrid: Monster Battle, AR monsters will battle in any real world environment you choose. In The Machines you deck out a battle mech and wage war in the comfort of your own home! World Brush and Paint Space AR will let you spray paint art on the world around you. AR Zombie! is a first person zombie shoot ‘em up. CS:AR lets you bring some crime-solving/escape room goodness to your place, turning it into a crime scene!
Improvements to AR in the upcoming iOS 12
Those are just a few examples of the AR apps and games out right now, but iOS 12 has promised even more AR features. iOS 12 will release ARKit 2, giving devs enhanced capabilities like improved face tracking, 3D object detection, and shared AR spaces – meaning you and your friends could view the same thing from your own devices, making AR tabletop closer to reality than ever before. Apple will also release their own Measure app, which is supposed to be a simpler, easier to use solution compared to a lot of the other measurement apps out there. Apple even created a new file format called USDZ specifically for AR objects.
It’s pretty crazy that all this is possible with an iPhone. AR really has the potential to bring us to technological levels only previously seen in science fiction. Holograms, J.A.R.V.I.S., and more are much closer than we think. What would you like to see next in AR? Let us know in the comments.
Subscribe to Kingston: