Apple has spent the last year or two banging the augmented reality drum pretty hard, but the actual useful things you’ve been able to do with ARKit have been … few and far between. In games, most AR functions have been fairly gimmicky, but it would appear that this particular tide is beginning to change- With EA leading the charge, oddly enough. A new augmented reality feature has been added to The Sims FreePlay (Free) which is actually shockingly cool. Check out the trailer:
Basically, using the magic of ARKit 2, EA is able to render a collaborative building environment that local folks with reasonably modern iOS devices can hop in on. You see the same shared house in front of you, and by moving your device around you can see other areas of the AR Sims house and tweak things on the fly cooperatively. It’s sort of hard to believe that a Sims game would become such a great demo of what you can do in augmented reality, but this new mode makes a ton of sense.
It’s sort of like playing with a doll house, or other kids’ toys play set, but it all just exists virtually. I still don’t think looking through the camera of your device is the best experience, but these sort of things make for an interesting future if devices like Magic Leap’s headsets end up becoming commonplace. If I could just be sitting on my couch and look down and see the virtual Sims house, that’d be a million times cooler than looking through my iPhone.
But, baby steps I suppose. If you haven’t fiddled with The Sims FreePlay, I’d definitely recommend giving this a look.