Want to take a peek at the future of mobile augmented reality (AR)? Then you’re in luck: A number of developers have been busy hacking away on iPhone-based AR, and posting progress of their work as videos online. And some of those videos are pretty amazing.
Apple started to give developers the ability to build augmented reality applications for the iPhone and iPad with a recently released beta of iOS 11. The newest version of the company’s mobile operating system comes with something Apple called ARKit, which is essentially a set of technologies to turn iPhones and iPads into augmented reality devices, capable of combining a view of the world with digital overlays.
That idea in itself is not new, and was popularized by Pokemon Go last year. However, Apple’s ARKit uses a technology dubbed SLAM, which is short for simultaneous localization and mapping, to essentially create a digital outline of the objects in a room, and then track the phone’s location in relation to those objects.
Here’s what this looks like in practice, when used to recreate the moon landing in someone’s living room:
This demo was created by Tomas Garcia, who helpfully told viewers that “the dog is real and the moon is completely out of scale.”
ARKit can also be used to turn a parking lot into a video game:
And there may be even more practical applications, such as this AR measuring tape:
Here’s a fun cat explosion, created Ar-centric marketing agency TREKK.
And finally, here’s a breathtaking demonstration of something the creators call “an inter-dimensional portal”:
Apple officially introduced ARKit at its Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) in early June. The technology is scheduled to reach consumers when iOS 11 gets its official release this fall, likely in conjunction with the next version of the iPhone. Until then, consumers can always check out Madewitharkit.com for a collection of some of the best iOS augmented reality demos.