It’s no secret that Apple is betting that AR, and specifically its ARKit, will be a game-changer for the iOS ecosystem, and after seeing some recent examples, I can see why the company is so confident. In the first video, developer Matthew Hallberg shows off his Minecraft ($6.99) AR app that lets players place Minecraft blocks in the real world and then proceed to break them just like they would do when playing the actual game. The video shows how easy it is to create whole Minecraft worlds using ARKit in a way that makes them believable and immersive. Pay attention to how the lights he places interact with the blocks; it’s pretty cool. I can see for instance people making Minecraft mazes for a kid’s birthday party.
In addition to making gaming applications, developers are also using ARKit to create applications that offer all kinds of extremely useful every-day tools. For instance, the video below shows off an extremely accurate AR measuring tape that you can use to measure objects and spaces in your environment. While this measuring tape might look like a simple little thing, think about all the tools that can easily be replaced through accurate AR, and also think of how many times you had to look for that silly measuring tape just to quickly see if what you’re buying from Amazon will actually fit in your house. And keep in mind that the ARKit is still in beta and has been out for barely a few weeks.
And there’s an even cooler application of the accuracy of ARKit when combined with Minecraft; designing real buildings for public spaces. You might not remember this story, but last year the United Nations announced that it’s utilizing Minecraft to allow communities to design new public spaces in places like East Jerusalem and Africa. With ARKit, projects like those can be done on the actual spaces they will end up occupying, further engaging communities and blurring the digital and the real world. I’m very excited to see what else developers can come up with once ARKit is out in the wild and once the iPhone 8—with its purported AR focus—releases. Any ideas for any great applications?