Minecraft and Virtual Measuring Tape Apps Prove the Power of Apple’s ARKit

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Of all the exciting new features and technologies baked into Apple’s upcoming iOS 11 software update, perhaps the most intriguing (and promising) of them is the company’s newly introduced ARKit. Shown off in extensive detail at WWDC 2017 earlier this month, ARKit is Apple’s first major foray into the burgeoning Augmented Reality (AR)-based app development space, and will enable app developers to seamlessly incorporate a variety of AR experiences into their existing iOS apps. So far we’ve seen a ton of possibilities in terms of what ARKit will be able to bring to certain apps when iOS 11 launches this fall — such as the upcoming IKEA app with built-in AR functionality, which will allow shoppers to place, view, and configure furnishings (“virtually”) in their own home prior to making a purchase. But wait, there’s more.

ARKit Tools

One of several videos that were recently shared to Twitter, show some savvy developers affiliated with @madewithARKit demonstrating how they were able to harness the power of the iPhone’s camera, processors, and motion sensor array to assist in calculating the size of certain objects in their environment. The video demonstrates how the utility will work on iPhone and iPad – when a user taps on two locations in their imminent environment, ARKit will determine the distance between them, displaying the result as a free-floating variable that appears onscreen.

In another demonstration, app developers with Laan Labs were able to create an ARKit-based virtual tape measuring experience, which they claim is actually comparable to physically using a measuring tape. Users can apply the virtual measuring tape by selecting the point where they want it to begin, and then panning the onscreen area in the room to determine where the alternate end of the tape should be placed. Currently one of several ARKit-based projects in development by Laan Labs, the app even applies the virtual measuring tape technique to a picture frame, and an armoire, for further validation.

ARKit & Mobile Gaming

And the possibilities don’t stop there. Various app developers have already begun experimenting with ARKit in their iOS games. One example that’s already taking shape is a joint project to develop an AR-based Minecraft app, which would allow players to place Minecraft blocks strategically around their imminent environment, while also affording them the pleasure of destroying what’s been made using Minecraft’s traditional arsenal of destruction utilities. Check out the AR-based Minecraft in the video below.

To learn more about ARKit and what implications it holds for the future of iPhone and iOS, be sure to check out everything you need to know about Apple’s new ARKit here.

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