It’s been a little while now since Apple released iOS 11, and with it some exciting new augmented reality capabilities. The new operating system is compatible with something called ARKit, which is for all intents and purposes an app development program.
ARKit is designed to make it easy for app developers to generate experiences that come to life convincingly through AR. The idea is for elements of an app, when viewed through a mobile device, to appear as realistic virtual elements in real physical space.
Now that this technology has been available to the public for a while, we can begin to do a fair assessment of what it’s capable of, and what it might be leading to.
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AR Will Effectively Change Home Design
The most emphatic takeaway from the opening months of widespread AR availability may also be the most surprising. The most impressive and impact full apps that have come out so far have to deal with home design. We knew fairly early on that IKEA and Apple were teaming up on a home design app – or at least this was something you’d have seen if you researched what was coming your way in AR. But what we didn’t know was that there would essentially be a whole category of similar apps. AR is allowing people to visualize pieces of art and furniture in their homes, and in some cases even recognize dimensions of rooms, with their phones. It’s an incredible capability that’s going to change home design for a long time to come.
There Will Be A Strategy Game Revolution
Gaming is of course one of the more exciting areas to keep an eye on when we look at augmented reality. And while there have been a lot of genres to make the transition to this style of mobile app, the most promising titles have been tabletop strategy games. There are a few prominent examples already, but what we’re seeing in a broad sense is that exciting gaming environments work well when projected onto tables. This opens the door for board games, RPGs, card games, and even tower defense games that involve any sort of competitive strategizing.
Casinos’ Arrival Won’t Take Long
As a slight tangent from the gaming category, it should also be noted that Apple’s AR is capable of bringing about a mini-revolution in digital casino content as well. We can say this not because casinos have made a showing early on in AR, but because they have already strained toward more interactive and realistic features. Many online platforms have already developed the infrastructure necessary to bring live dealer games to mobile devices. Such games make it look as if you are playing with a live, human dealer through your phone screen. It’s not much of a jump to imagine a similar reality portrayed through AR, and likely bringing about the most realistic casino arcades to date.
Children’s Stories May Permanently Change
It’s becoming increasingly accepted that kids are being exposed to technology at young ages. If you go out to restaurants very often, you may have noticed a trend toward parents distracting young children with phones or iPads to keep them quiet and occupied until a meal arrives.
You may also have noticed increasing circulation of articles about how to lure your kids away from screen time (with some studies suggesting kids look at screens as much as two hours a day!). Whatever your feelings on the issue, the fact is that kids like touchscreens, and AR may be providing a very natural category for them to get into. Characters like Thomas the Train and the Very Hungry Caterpillar from legendary children’s books and programs are already making appearances in AR, and the way is being paved for interactive children’s stories to be presented via ARKit.
AR Can Make Education More Interactive
There’s an app called Math Ninja AR that seems to showcase a lot of potential in educational augmented reality. The app basically strives to make learning math fun via cartoonish AR simulations that kids will actually want to engage with. This is not a novel concept, as there have been computer games and even mobile apps doing the same thing for many years. But given kids’ aforementioned appreciation of new tech devices these days, it’s important to point out that there is already an educational corner sprouting in the AR app stores.