Launch shared AR experiences in seconds.
Augmented reality (AR) technology lets you change the world around you by overlaying digital content that can be used to find your friends at a packed music festival, fight crime as a Marvel superhero, and bring conventional tattoos to life. That said, creating shareable interactive AR experiences can be difficult.
ConjureKit is a new socialAR SDK from Auki Labs that allows developers to create AR experiences where users can easily drop AR objects into their physical environments without having to scan the world around them. What is even more amazing is that you can invite multiple friends into the experience and interact with each other in real time.
In a YouTube video created by Auki Labs, company CEO Nils Pihl can be seen walking through a rural location. He then “drops” an AR remote control car onto a small cement ledge and begins to steer it around a pair of virtual orange cones. Of course, driving a remote control car is a lot more fun with friends. Pihl shows off the potential of ConjureKit by inviting a friend via a standard QR code.
In an interview with VRScout, Johannes Davidsson, the head of business development for Auki Labs, Davidsson talked about the SDK tool, saying, “AR has, up until now, been a solo experience, in part because setting up shared AR sessions has been painstakingly slow and hard to achieve for developers. We are currently on the brink of bringing digital information into the material world,” adding, “Now we are envisioning a world where anyone can see digital information and objects in exact locations, with high precision, happening simultaneously across all devices.”
Auki Labs started in 2019 when Pihl and a team of engineers began working on an AR measurement tool for the popular tabletop game Warhammer 40K. Unfortunately, they weren’t able to create a truly shared experience due to the limitations of AR at the time.
Positioning of the AR content wasn’t very precise, and launching the experience required pre-scanning, which wasn’t conducive to quickly jumping into a game or experience. They also found that it was almost impossible for other devices to sync with each other’s relative positions. The team tried all solutions available, but none could deliver the experience and precision end-users would expect and accept. So they continued to explore solutions.
After conducting additional research, the team developed a system they refer to as “instant calibration.” Through this approach, users can join each other’s games via a standard QR code. Simply open the app on one device and scan the code located on the screen to join instantaneously.
This is done without having to pre-scan your environment or send any environmental data across a network, promising instant calibration between devices in under a second.
“Auki Labs is working on a technology that enables persistent AR taking minutes to set up,” said Davidsson. “You can scan a designated QR code on the wall and add a 3D model of the solar system in the middle of the classroom. When children come in, they scan the physical QR code on the wall and instantly see a solar system, in the same place the teacher positioned it. And the animations are synced across all devices. This type of learning could save teachers hours and hours they can now spend on interacting with their students and work less overtime to prep materials for class.”
Of course, ConjureKit will offer users something beyond gaming and education. Davidsson tells me that Auki Labs technology would have a “clear impact of spatial information placed correctly for all participants to see as a tool for enterprise solutions.” One example is using ConjureKit with dynamic pathfinding in warehouses and displaying sensory data. This approach could aid in workforce efficiency and keep employees safe through shared training experiences.
When asked about ConjureKit working with devices such as the Meta Quest Pro or Magic Leap 2 mixed reality headsets, Davidsson says that they expect support for all the primary AR-enabled head-mounted displays and that Auki Labs are already in conversation with several headset manufacturers.
“The ConjureKit was imagined as a tool for creatives, storytellers, and world builders to channel their inner vision and build what Terence McKenna would describe as ‘all the castles of the imagination.’”
Image Credit: Auki Labs