A new file format (USDZ) makes way for ARKit multi-user support.
Apple continues to jump firmly into the world of augmented reality (AR). Announced during WWDC, you can soon expect AR apps to have multi-user functions, letting you see and share AR experiences with friends at the same time.
“AR is transformational technology.”
Craig Federighi, senior vice president of software engineering, announced that Apple has partnered with Adobe on a new file format for AR, called Universal Scene Description (USDZ). Adobe’s Creative Cloud services will support the new format.
This means that there’s finally a way to deliver AR experiences across the entire iOS eco-system. The open file format will let you create a virtual object with Adobe Creative Cloud and then publish it on the web or maybe just share it via iMessage to a friend.
The USDZ file format will also work with Quixel, ptc, Sketchfab, and Autodesk. Creative Cloud will be offering a new AR creation app for iOS that has yet to be named, but Abhay Parasnis, EVP and CTO of Adobe, called it What you See is What You Get (WYSIWYG) for AR.
On top of introducing a new file format that will make sharing AR more universal, Apple also showed off their own app called Measure. Like other augmented reality measurement tools we’ve seen in the past, this app also lets you detect and measure objects with straight edges by just pointing your ARKit 2 enabled device.
With the introduction of the next ARKit 2 iteration, Federighi teased that there will be improved face tracking, more realistic rendering, 3D object detection, persistent experiences, and shared experience.
One way to show of the new and improved ARKit 2 was with an AR LEGO demo that lets you connect to physical LEGO sets. A LEGO city was shown off in the demo, letting you build objects, place characters, go on quests, and play with up to four friends in the same set with different iOS devices.