ARKit 2 on iOS 12: Enhanced Capabilities in Augmented Reality

One of the key features of the iOS 12 introduced by Apple is ARKit 2. ARKit 2, the latest version on iOS 12 provides unparalleled augmented reality experiences like never before. There are enhanced capabilities like 3D object detection, shared AR spaces and so on. ARKit 2 enables your AR apps to be experienced simultaneously by multiple users, proving without a doubt that iOS is the biggest AR platform in the world.

What’s New in ARKit 2?

ARKit 2 is more powerful than the original ARKit since it allows multiple users to play or work on projects together.

Persistent AR Experiences

Your AR experiences can now persist between sessions where you can resume AR puzzles in the same state later! It basically means you can save AR spaces and objects and pick up where you left, later! All 3D objects placed in an AR world can be picked up and seen by other users improving player-to-player interaction.
As a demo, Apple brought Martin Sanders, Director of Innovation at LEGO, to give a demo of the LEGO AR iOS app which can connect to physical LEGO sets. It was great to see an entire LEGO city built, complete with users constructing objects, placing characters and play with friends.

AR Experiences Shared

This is one of the features which users would love. Multiple users across different iOS devices can simultaneously view AR experiences and play multi-user games. This is an important addition since shared experiences will make the iPhone and iPad interact and not be solitary entities. ARKit 2 apps will help you play together and this is seen as tough competition for its biggest rival, Google which announced Cloud Anchors.

Object Detection/Tracking

Unlike ARKit 1.5 which allowed 2D object detection, users can now detect 3D objects like furniture, sculpture, and toys.

Face Tracking

ARKit 2 provides improved face tracking compared to its earlier version.

Measure App

This app also makes its way into ARKit 2 and is basically a measuring app. It showcases some improved features of ARKit 2 like the improved object detection powers. It can sense and take measurements of an object and also pick objects of varying sizes and shapes with great accuracy.
You can make linear measurements of rectangular objects which are picked automatically and the results displayed to you. It is a simple and accurate app but nothing groundbreaking which blows away your mind.

USDZ Format

Apple in collaboration with Pixar, developed a new file format for AR objects called Universal Scene Description (USDZ) which is optimized for easy sharing. It will be supported by all third party apps like Adobe, Sketchfab etc. With this latest format, all AR-generated images can be sent over email or messages and it can then be viewed in the real world through a phone or any tablet.
With this latest version of ARKit, Apple’s slowly but steadily taking over the space of AR to new heights.

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