Now that VR is here (and somewhat disappointing), the new hotness is AR, augmented reality. Essentially AR is a blending of real world data, generally a live feed from a devices camera, with programmatic overlays. Apple have jumped into the AR realm with the release of ARKit, an SDK for iOS devices running the upcoming iOS 11 operating system. ARKit requires the devices to be running an A9 or A10 processor, either on iPad or iPhone devices.
In Apples’ own words, ARKit is:
iOS 11 introduces ARKit, a new framework that allows you to easily create unparalleled augmented reality experiences for iPhone and iPad. By blending digital objects and information with the environment around you, ARKit takes apps beyond the screen, freeing them to interact with the real world in entirely new ways.
ARKit can also be integrated in existing engines such as Unreal Engine or Unity. A Unity plugin for ARKit is currently available here while Unreal support ARKit in the current Github build of the engine. Unreal Engine and ARKit functionality was demonstrated in an example called Wingnut, demonstrated below.
The ARKit developer homepage is available here.