Apple’s ARKit Update Already Being Taken to New Levels in These Developer Experiments

Thanks to Apple’s beta preview of iOS 11.3 released last week, app developers are already experimenting with the ARKit capabilities that will be available to regular users this spring.

The highlight of ARKit 1.5 is vertical surface detection. The first iteration of ARKit was limited to horizontal surface detection, which has placed constraints on what developers could do with regards to room scanning.

Vertical surface detection alone will be a boon for retailers, who will now be able to make things like posters, shelves, and other wall hangings in addition to floor-dwelling couches, chairs, and tables far more interactive (see examples below). The feature could also come in handy in arts and culture as well, allowing patrons to see works of art beyond a museum’s collection.

In an example posted on Sunday by Kyle Chadwick, the developer showed off how the new ARKit functionality can be applied to vertical surfaces on furniture.

Yet another developer (Lauri aka @lingoded on Twitter) demonstrated how ARKit’s vertical surface detection can also work as a game that sprouts otherworldly creatures from walls or windows.

Apple has added detection of irregularly-shaped surfaces as well. So now developers need not be limited by the whimsical designs of architects and furniture makers (see example below).

A popular exercise among the first generation of ARKit experiments was creating virtual portals in mid-air. As Ubicolor, a mobile app development studio, demonstrated a few days ago, those portals can now appear as holes in walls as well.

A few examples of the new built-in image recognition capabilities also made their way onto Twitter, with one showing ARKit identifying a painting and another scanning a book cover.

While we might not see as many demos of ARKit possibilities as we saw immediately after ARKit’s initial unveiling, these new examples will likely ramp up excitement around the new possibilities of Apple’s updated ARKit platform.

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