All About ARKit 2.0
As part of iOS 12, Apple has introduced ARKit 2.0 with a host of improvements. The latest version brings performance improvements, multiplayer support, and more.
In addition to ARKit 2.0, Apple has introduced a new augmented reality file type called Universal Scene Description (USDZ). Adobe confirmed on stage that it will be an adopter of the new file format.
Apple says that ARKit carries a host of improvements, including:
- Improved face tracking
- Realistic rendering
- 3D object detection
- Persistent experiences
- Shared experiences
Craig Federighi touted a specific shared experiences feature, which will allow users to view the same augmented reality experience, whether it be as a participant or an observer.
Apple originally announced ARKit a year ago at WWDC 2017, and in the meantime, it has rolled out a 1.5 update that improved the way it maps the user’s environment as well as a new auto-focus feature. The framework arrived on Apple devices along with the iOS 11 update in September, and since then, AR-focused apps have been downloaded over 13 million times, thanks mostly to games.
ARKit 2.0 related updates
Apple also said that it has teamed up with Pixar to create a new AR format, called USDZ. The new format is a zero compression, unencrypted zip archive supported across iOS, so objects in AR can be shared and experienced in Safari, Mail, or anything else that’s part of the Apple ecosystem. Adobe also announced it will have native USDZ support in Creative Cloud.
This means anywhere you see an icon that designates something can be viewed in AR, whether it’s in News, or even when shopping for items in Safari, you can tap on it to interact with the object, zoom in, or perhaps even see what it would look like in your own home.
As part of the new AR update, Apple also introduced a new app called Measure, which allows for taking the dimensions of objects, measuring lines across surfaces, and detecting rectangles. When in the Measure app, simply hold it above an object, tap, and drag along a line to take a measurement.