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Augmented Reality has been one of the most technologically advanced with the market 3.4 billion on smartphones. As we know, augmented reality is the visual representation of digital components in the physical world. It is an overlay of computer-generated images in the existing natural environment. The overlay can be anything like graphics & sounds to amplify the overall experience of the end-users.
Apple’s ARKit and Google’s ARCore enhanced augmented reality mobile app experiences can offer users the chance to display 3D virtual images on a 2D real-world background and then interact with them.
What is ARKit?
ARKit is a set of tools created by Apple to aid developers in creating augmented reality applications for iOS devices. It also helps improve different functions and elements on AR apps that have already been developed. To make the creation of these apps possible, the ARKit makes use of the existing features and hardware found on iPhones and iPads, like motion tracking and camera sensors. It also has the ability to locate physical spaces so users can then interact with them. Currently, the leading category for ARKit apps are games with utility and entertainment apps following closely behind.
The ARKit 2, which runs on iOS 12, offers persistent experiences. This is where AR experiences will still remain intact when the app is closed. When the app is opened again for use, all elements will be in place as they were before. These AR experiences can be resumed at a later time without having to start over, for example, this could be an interior design project or completing an augmented reality puzzle.
ARKit 2 also enables people to play games together. Users can share their AR spaces with others, allowing them to see the same AR creations from their own devices. This allows for the possibility of playing multiplayer games where users can simultaneously view the same augmented reality experiences.
Real Life uses of ARKit Applications
There are currently many applications that are developed using ARKit on AppStore. Although almost half of them are games, some widely popular projects that use ARKit improve education processes in schools, enhance stories in popular magazines, and can even help you choose furniture.
Most popular AR applications developed using ARKit.
1) IKEA: The AR-based application IKEA is a Swedish furniture giant. IKEA allows users to place a 3D model of a furniture item directly into the room where you want to put it. This model helps customers see whether the piece will fit and match their apartment or house before deciding whether or not to purchase.
2) MeasureKit: You can measure almost anything using your iPhone or iPad camera through this app, including angles and room dimensions. The ruler tool is free.
3) NightSky: Night Sky lets you identify stars, planets, constellations, and satellites. It has a "Grand Orrery" premium feature that lets you see the Solar System in your home. You can walk around it, zoom in on planets, and explore - all in AR.
ARKit is a robust AR development toolkit with a bit of history. It has its strengths and weaknesses.
What is ARCore?
Similar to the ARKit, the ARCore is a set of frameworks and tools supporting the creation of AR mobile apps on Android devices running on 7.0 and later, allowing the virtual world to co-exist with the real world. In easy words, one can also say ARCore is Google's answer to Apple’s ARKit. It’s a development platform for creating augmented reality applications that were released in early 2018.
Features of ARCore
1) Environmental Understanding: ARCore can help a device detect the size and location of different types of surfaces. This includes horizontal, vertical and angled surfaces like the floor, coffee tables and walls.
2) Motion Tracking: Through the ARCore kit a phone can understand and track its position as it moves. This technology uses the phone’s camera to identify any interesting points and features. Users can move around and view virtual objects from any angle.
3) Light estimation: ARCore kit helps the device detect the lighting conditions in different environments. It allows users to light their virtual objects in the same lighting conditions as their current room or location to enhance the realism of the AR environment.
ARCore Application in use
1) Navigation: Since 2018, Google has been presenting augmented reality experiences in Google Maps.It works like a charm – just turn on Google Map Live Views and the directions will appear as your camera points toward a physical location.
2) Just a Line – Draw Anywhere with AR: The Just a Line AR app is the creation of Google’s creative lab. The app is compatible with almost every ARCore phone and lets you have fun with augmented reality. Using the camera, you can draw or write anything on any surface. After doing so, you can walk around it to see it from different angles.
(Source:Create with google)
3) Measure App: The Measure app is Google’s proprietary app, borrowed from its first augmented reality project, Project Tango. The app is built on ARCore and can measure real-life things by using the phone’s camera.
(Source: Measure App)
There are endless ARCore apps in the Play Store. According to ARtillery Intelligence, ARKit devices significantly outnumber ARCore devices. In 2020, there were 1185 million ARKit devices, with ARCore only having 633 million devices. In terms of active users, the numbers are vastly different. ARKit has 950 million active users, while ARCore only has 122 million.
Want to know more about the trends of AR? Read our last blog on AUGMENTED REALITY TRENDS IN 2021.
Augmented reality is one of the biggest technology trends right now & with time it is only going to get bigger & better as AR ready smartphones and other devices become more accessible around the world. Augmented reality helps you see the real-life environment with an augmentation overlaid on it. Augmented reality has found a strong foothold in jewellery retail as well. Businesses are using this technology to provide a new level of interaction between the customers & their products, either online or in-store.
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