12 September 2019

Apple Arkit: what is it for?

Several years ago, Apple acquired promising companies in the field of augmented reality:

  • PrimeSense , an Israeli company manufacturing sensors allowing in particular the identification of gestures,
  • Metaio , a German company specifically specialized in the creation of a development kit for programming augmented reality applications, in May 2015,
  • SensoMotoric Instruments (SMI), another German company specializing in eye tracking.

Each time, Apple refused to comment on its acquisitions: but the release 1 year ago of the ARKit 2 , where Metaio’s expertise has undoubtedly played a role, finally provides some answers.

But before embarking on wonderful augmented reality projects, what is ARKit?

For the most novices among us, ARKit is a toolbox which allows iOS developers to create augmented reality applications.

We can think of the application Pokemon go , which was a resounding success. It was already available on iOS before the launch of ARKit. So what does the AR Kit finally bring ?

Well, Apple’s new toolkit allows develop more easily this kind of application, thanks to dedicated tools , but also in many more realistic and optimized ways: to keep the example of Pokemon Go, Apple unveiled during the WWDC 2017 keynote, the same app, improved by its new kit. We note in particular that the elements are integrated into the environment in a way more realistic way than on the initial application.

Blogger David Newman explains: “Superimposing one image on another is not very difficult, but on the other hand, superimposing graphics in a 3-dimensional space, with depth of field, and which is also in motion, is extremely difficult . »The ARKit facilitates this process by allowing the developer to create and integrate 3D models into the reality filmed by the terminal’s camera .

A way for the Apple firm to remind the rest of GAFAMS that it is also in the race. Indeed, the ARKit is reminiscent of the Google Tango Project which was stopped in favor of ARCore , the android version of ARKit.

ARKit works on all Apple devices from iOS 11. As Apple representative John Ternus said during the keynote, the applications developed thanks to the AR Kit could reach hundreds of millions of iOS terminals… Which would make iOS “the largest augmented reality platform in the world “.

In the BtoB augmented reality market, we don’t think the AR kit overshadows the star of the moment, Microsoft HoloLens 2 . The two solutions are very different and the ARKit alone does not compete with the many HoloLens strengths in the eyes of companies. But in the mainstream market, we think Apple has a trump card.

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