While Apple’s event on Tuesday was primarily devoted to unveiling new products like the high-end iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, iPhone X, and Apple Watch Series 3, the company reserved plenty of stage time to showcase some of those device’s most promising new features. In showcasing the incredible new iPhone 8 flagships, for instance, Apple allowed some rising ARKit developers time to demo their new or updated creations for the world of Augmented Reality (AR) on iPhone.
Worth noting, first and foremost, is that even though the ultra high-end iPhone X is most synonymous with advanced AR capabilities, Apple explicitly stated that both the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus’ 12 MP camera sensors have been “individually calibrated to work as best as possible” in driving new ARKit applications.
The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are able to partake of ARKit capabilities thanks in large part to Apple’s new A11 Bionic SoC, which in combination with its GPU, dedicated neural engine, and advanced image processing capabilities is able to push AR-based apps on those devices.
First up, the CEO of Directive Games gave us a sneak peek at his company’s upcoming AR-based competitive fighting game, The Machines, which will debut on the App Store later this month. The title, which according to its developers is powered by Epic’s Unreal Engine 4, offers players a true-to-life battling experience, allowing them to combat-style fight other players who’re standing on the field wherever they are while navigating their imminent environment. Check out the demo of the game above, but note that it’s still in the finishing stages of development. Nevertheless, the title should be a phenomenal entrant into the field of AR-based gaming on iPhone 8, and should serve as a promising indication of what’s to come.
MLB Advanced Media
Just in time for the home stretch of Baseball season, 2017, Apple showcased new ARKit-based advancements made to the MLB At Bat app for iPhone and iPad. When iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and iPhone X users go to use to MLB’s updated signature app, they’ll be able to view player stats delivered in real-time over their device’s camera viewfinder at live games.
The most intriguing aspect about the MLB At Bat app with ARKit is the ability for users to enjoy an enhanced experience while attending live baseball games across the entire league, allowing them to literally hover their device over a player on the field to reveal their name, stats, and additional information in real-time.
Warhammer 40K: Freeblade
Apple’s final ARKit launch partner was Pixel Toys, makers of the popular Warhammer 40,000: Freeblade combat-style fighting game for iOS. Notably, the app’s next update will include new features designed to make use of Apple’s ARKit. For example, during the demonstration, devs showcased how players could battle one another’s suited warriors on a real-world basketball court.
An update to the popular Sky Guide iOS app by Fifth Star Labs, which allows users to track and identify the stars in the sky on their iPhone or iPad, will soon bring a new AR-based map functionality to the experience. In essence, the update will overlay a constantly-changing map across the app’s UI, allowing users to more quickly identify stars and celestial bodies in the area their camera is directed.
The overall premise of the game seems somewhat similar to The Machines, in that players will be able to live-battle one another to an AR-enhanced backdrop of their imminent environment — however Warhammer 40,000 has been around for quite a while and may be more appealing to the earliest adopters of Apple’s new AR-capable iPhones.