Developers will soon be able to integrate hand gesture control into their projects on the ARKit platform, no extra hardware needed.
2017 has been an absolutely enormous year for augmented reality. The industry has seen the release of not one, but two powerful AR platforms, support from a wide variety of developers, and some of the coolest immersive experiences of the year. So you think the technology would be slowing down as we start to wrap up this year, right? WRONG!
In an official release made by computer-vision developers ManoMotion, the Swedish software company revealed plans to bring its gestural interaction technology to Apple’s popular augmented reality platform, ARKit. The 3D recognition technology allows users to interact with virtual and augmented elements using their actual hands.
Apple’s smartphone cameras track and capture the 27 degrees of freedom (DOF) of motion present in the human hand and is able to accurately recognize specific gestures such as grab and release, clicking, swipes and tapping in real-time. All this with minimal impact to CPU, memory, battery life and without the need for any additional hardware.
Developers will have the option of using a set of predefined gestures such as point, push, pinch, swipe and grab for easier integration. These motions will allow users to alter digital elements and gesture them anywhere they’d like within their 3D space, opening up an endless supply of potential use-case scenarios.
“Up until now, there has been a very painful limitation to the current state of AR technology – the inability to interact intuitively in depth with augmented objects in 3D space,” stated ManoMotion co-founder and CEO Daniel Carlman. “Introducing gesture control to the ARKit, and being the first in the market to show proof of this, for that matter, is a tremendous milestone for us. We’re eager to see how developers create and potentially redefine interaction in Augmented Reality!”
ManoMotion will support Unity iOS initially with Native iOS integration coming in a later update. The company isn’t just setting its sights on Apple though, as the company is also confirming support for Android’s ARCore platform in the near future.
One of the biggest limitations to augmented reality has always been the lack of interaction between the user and the digital world. The technology has been a fantastic tool for passively observing and exploring, but has always needed a more intimate form of interaction beyond just clicking and swiping at the screen. Implementing this hand gesture control could transform augmented reality from a neat smartphone app, to a legitimately influential piece of tech.