From an interdimensional portal to dancing ballerina robots, the ARkit from Apple is changing AR one killer project at a time.
Apple’s groundbreaking augmented reality development platform, ARkit, has only been out in the wild for less than a month and already the advanced AR tool has been used by both amateur and professional developers to create some truly incredible experiences. So far we’ve seen detailed moon landings in living rooms, hot lava spills on city streets and even 3D puppies hidden creepily throughout office buildings.
But with a healthy catalogue of unique demos and experiences already pulsing through the ARkit ecosystem, these example are just the tip of the metaphorical iceberg. Here are five of the coolest ARkit-made AR applications so far:
AR FOOD NUTRITIONAL VALUE
If you’re caught up on the hit HBO show Silicon Valley, then you’re most likely familiar with Jian Yang’s ‘Not Hotdog’ app. The ‘unique’ tool created by the character was originally supposed to distinguish and identify certain foods by simply taking a picture with a camera phone. However in the end the frustrating developer created a program that hilareously identified food as either a hotdog, or not a hotdog.
Well it appears as though reality is beginning to catch up with fiction as one amaetuer developer has actually managed to create an ARkit app that not only recognizes and labels various produce, but lists the various nutritional information as well! In a video posted by YouTuber napkinmoments, the creator point his camera at a banana at which point the name of the specific fruit appears above the object among a collection of floating bubbles filled with detailed nutritional values such as vitamins, water levels and other ingredients.
AUGMENTED REALITY TAPE MEASURER
Arguable one of the more functional applications created using ARkit, AR Measure is as simple as it is effective. After selecting a start point, users drag their phone to their desired destination and select their end point. The application keeps track of the distance the camera has traveled, providing accurate measurements between points.
Distances are represented in real-time via white guidelines as well as a digitally-rendered 3D rendition of an actual ruler. The uses for this tool are virtually endless, providing an easy and convenient method for measuring furniture, doors, plates, desks, carpets, paintings, chairs, etc.
Digging into projects that will blow your mind, this augmented reality portal is a perfect example of how captivating it can when you mix reality with the digital world. Developed by French consulting agency, Nedd, the inter-dimensional gateway transports users from their current real-world location to a virtual jungle filled with mysterious ancient ruins and lush plant life.
Much like an actual doorway leading outside, changing your viewing angle of the portal will also alter your view into the digital world. Not only that, but it appears as though users are actually able to step through the entrance and explore the mysterious green world that waits on the other side! Trippy…
AR DANCING ROBOT
Another creation from Thomas Garcia, the ‘AR Dancing Robot’ is not only extremely entertaining, but it also features some of the most impressive uses of tracking used on the ARkit platform yet.
In the short video, Thomas demonstrates the impressive fluid motions of a virtual ballerina robot conducting a delicate solo performance right in his living room. The quality of the animation as well as the rendering itself is absolutely beautiful and an excellent example of Apple’s natural lamp illumination technology.
From video games to immersive storytelling, having animation and shadow rendering as advanced as this in the hands of consumers could change the way we absorb entertainment.
Developed by Roadhouse Digital with 3D models provided by Dreamwalk Interactive, WorldInvaders is more-or-less a new take on the arcade classic Space Invaders with an augmented reality twist. Users take aim at floating alien invaders using their camera as a blaster, firing rockets at the various enemies scattered throughout the environment.
The most impressive part however is viewing your projectiles as they travel through the 3D space towards their targets. Instead of instantly taking out enemies by lining up the sight, your blaster instead fires a large 3D missile that travels through the air at a slow, but steady pace. This means you’re not only able to time shots by firing where enemies will eventually be, but you’re also capable of walking around the projectile and following it as it travels through the air.
So while WorldInvaders won’t be taking home any trophies for ingenuity, it definitely succeeds at demonstrating the gaming capabilities of this new platform. Whether that means reintroducing old classics with new paint jobs, or developing entirely new IP’s.
So there you have it! ARkit is less than 30 days old and already it’s become the industry standard for high quality augmented reality experiences. It’ll be thrilling to see what comes out of this new developer-focused program over the next few years.