The Augmented Reality Revolution
Oops! Apple did it again.
The wait is over: Apple WWDC20 (Apple Worldwide Developers Conference 2020) was a huge success and quite an emotional experience for all Cupertino aficionados out there.
Amongst all the fantastic new features of the new iOS and the groundbreaking innovations in terms of UX and UI, one of the brand new jewels available on the App store will be a new handy tool called LiDAR - a futuristic scanner which crunches data from cameras and motion sensors in order to deliver a truly seamless augmented reality experience.
Both the new iPhone and iPad have been custom-tuned with new cameras that are great for shooting in all conditions and at the right frame rate for augmented reality tools such as LiDAR.
One of the most interesting ways to use this tool on the brand new iPad Pro 2020 is definitely "Complete Anatomy Platform 2020": this is not just a simple atlas, but a totally interactive anatomy learning platform ideal for remote education. The updated version of this app is undoubtedly a game changer for any medical student - however it can also be extremely useful to health professionals already in the trade: the new technology allows to effectively show to patients where the pain they might be experiencing is, and which muscles are involved.
Another great new app - available for both iPhone and iPad - was designed in partnership with IKEA: it allows users to browse for new furniture in the comfort of their own home, while being able to virtually place a new sofa, cabinet etc wherever in the room they would like to keep it once purchased. Totally hassle-free. It is undoubtedly a great business opportunity for the Swedish brand: the use of AR not only will spare customers the effort of joining lengthy queues for returns but will also make it easier to leverage impulse buys and to push for add-ons and additional purchases.
Word on the street is that Apple might surprise the world with more revolutionary products in the near future, since both AR smart glasses and a AR/VR headset are rumoured to be in the making.
The same technology might also be used by the Cupertino giant to keep on improving on their ongoing car project - perhaps as part of an in-car software system that could include a heads-up display or other features. At WWDC20 the company announced officially that a CarKey feature will be included in iOS 14 and will also be available with a new iOS 13 update. CarKey allows people to use both iPhone Apple Watch to unlock, lock, and start a car. Users will be able to use CarKey in NFC-compatible cars, as they will only need to hold the device near the vehicle to use it as a key.
The possibilities of such ground-breaking new technology are truly endless, since AR can also be used for games, navigation and even to enable service workers to visualise industrial equipment and repair it with greater efficiency.
Potential applications for both AR and VR are vastly different. Virtual reality is singularly focused on immersive content consumption and it’s mostly linked to gaming right now. Augmented reality, on the other hand, does not hinge on immersive content. While perhaps less exciting since it wasn’t created with the intention of “replacing reality”, it can however be applied in a variety of different ways - and Apple is definitely at the forefront of the innovation.
Feeling inspired? If you would like to create captivating augmented reality experiences for iPhone and iPad, get your hands on developing frameworks and creative tools such as ARKit, RealityKit, Reality Composer and Reality Converter: be a part of the innovation and let your own ideas contribute to the AR revolution.