On June 5th, 2017 at WWDC ’17, Apple announced its amazing Augmented Reality framework and became the world’s largest AR platform overnight. ARKit allows existing iPhones and iPad devices with iOS 11 to augment reality in a way that makes virtual objects truly feel like they’re in the room with you. Apple’s ARkit is light years ahead of everything else out there. Wingnut AR, a company owned by Peter Jackson (Founder WETA workshop and Director of LOTR movies) showed a demo using ARKit. In the Demo, a table top was augmented into a small town and some space jets flew over the town and started attacking the town with high-end sound effects. ARkit opens a whole new world of possibilities. Your favorite virtual characters can inhabit the real world. You can also open up portals and go into other virtual worlds
Apple has built an easy way to use AR framework and has simplified the process of building AR features into apps.
How does the ARkit work?
The basic requirement for any AR experience is the ability to create and track correspondence between the real-world space and a virtual space where you can view virtual content. When your app displays a virtual object on your live camera, the illusion that your virtual content is part of the real world…That’s Augmented Reality!
Apple uses SLAM tracking (Simultaneous Localization and Mapping) in ARKit. There are no depth sensors on iOS devices yet. So ARKit uses the device’s camera and motion sensors to process SLAM. The device’s camera takes a picture and using computer vision identifies unique features in that picture. It again takes another picture and identifies the features. It compares the first and second image and does calculations along with data from motion sensors to identify the difference between those two images and determine the depth in the view. This is done with a live camera view when the device is in motion to get high accuracy without any calibration.
This is similar to how your eyes work with the brain. So now like your brain, the device has two different views which involve tracking the features and position of the scene. With this, ARkit can produce a 3D map of the environment. Now with depth sensors being added to the newer models of the iPhone, the tracking will be much more accurate, thanks to ARKit.
Explore Mind Boggling Techniques
It uses a technique called visual-inertial odometry. This process combines information from the iOS device’s motion sensing hardware with computer vision analysis of the scene which is visible to the device’s camera. It is able to recognize unique features in the environment, tracks differences in the positions of those features in the video frames and compares that information with the motion-sensing data.
Detecting and Visualizing
Hit testing – This allows visualization of the real world surface from the video frame.
Plane Detection – Detects a plane surface in the scene and get its position and size. This plane can be used to place virtual content.
Vision with ARkit
Vision is another API which was released with iOS 11 It allows high-performance image analysis and computer vision techniques to identify faces, detect features and recognize objects. Vision integrated with ARkit enables the app to track objects from the camera view. The tracking is used to interact with the app. For example, the user is able to paint using his finger. The finger is tracked here as the object. Other types of gesture tracking enable many functions of the app. This is a basic concept used in HMD AR devices. Now with Vision, it is possible for the application to track objects and use them as an input without the requirement of any sensors.
Apps made with ARkit
It’s very simple to build basic AR apps with ARKit,
People who want to design their home have always imagined the placement of furniture in their homes and view them before buying. Now that’s become a reality with ARKit.
Being able to draw in thin air is an awesome experience. Now you can draw graffiti floating over your office space using an iPhone using!
Doctor Strange opens up inter-dimensional portals to travel to other worlds and you can do the same with the AR portal app. With Augmented Reality, you can travel to other virtual worlds from your world. We used Depth Masking technique with Unity to create a portal effect into another virtual world. ARKit allows you to place the portal in a room and you can walk into any of the portals.
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Visit www.smacar.com to know more about developments in Augmented Reality.