Just when we thought Apple had fallen behind Microsoft
and Google in making a mark in the AR and VR realm, the software giant
has used its big developer conference to make a defining move into the two areas.
On the virtual reality front, Apple announced that the next version of its desktop operating system, Mac OS High Sierra, will have support for virtual-reality content creation . This means developers can create immersive gaming, 3D and VR content on the Mac. The company also revealed that SteamVR, the VR gaming platform, would soon support Mac format.
Additionally, Apple is also working with other virtual reality companies, such as Unity Technologies
and Epic Games
, bringing their VR tools to the Mac.
Pokemon Go gets a new sculpt with Apple’s AR stunt
But this was not all. Apple could hardly sit idle while other players perked up their AR efforts. It announced the ARKit development suite features which can add virtual objects to real images on the iPhone. The ARKit will be supported in iOS 11, using the phone’s sensors and cameras to offer stabilization in motion-tracking and for ambient lighting estimation.
“With iOS 11, we’re delivering the biggest AR platform in the world, and it’s available today for developers to begin building AR experiences using ARKit for hundreds of millions of iPhone and iPad users,” said Craig Federighi, Senior Vice President, Software Engineering, Apple.
“iOS 11 gives iPad users the powerful app functionality they need to take advantage of everything iPad is capable of, and brings hundreds of new features and incredible updates to the iOS apps iPhone and iPad users enjoy every day,” Federighi added.
So what we can witness by the end of this year is hundreds of millions of iPhones and iPads converting into an “AR platform”.
With this new suite, Apple came up with an updated version of Pokemon Go, that was streamed live at the conference. Looks like after mispronouncing “Pokemon Go”, Apple CEO Tim Cook realized huge potential for augmented reality and the iPhone. And today’s development was an important stepping stone in that direction.
For now, we may not know just how Apple plans on using its AR and VR tech in the future, but there’s only so much you can do with inserting fancy images in real-life clicks. This would surely boost the appeal of AR across its iOS devices, with more possibilities for developers to explore ahead of iOS 11’s release this fall.