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Augmented reality (AR) is the way software uses your cell phone’s camera to create the illusion that everything from simple everyday objects to fantastical creatures is literally steps away from you and most capable of interacting with the space or objects around you (remember the Pokemon Go mania from a couple of years ago?). It is the exact same technology that allows Snapchat to lay funky masks over your shelfies, and GIFs to appear in the real world when viewed through the camera of your phone. But, developers have been struggling to make AR appealing to a wider range of audiences – at least, as of now.
All that is expected to change after the launch of the latest version of Apple’s iOS operating system last fall and the introduction of ARKit – a streamlined set of tools that came into being to help developers create AR experiences easier than ever before. We could say that ARKit has come to bridge the gap between your virtual space and your real world by acting as a development platform. Ever since, we have seen 100s of demos been surfaced. Take, IKEA, for example. The furniture megastore plans to release IKEA Place, a new AR app that will allow you to not only just place static virtual furniture into a home but also see how these pieces look from any angle. For developers that would have never tried AR otherwise, ARKit is indeed alluring.
The uses and opportunities that open up with AR are limitless as you can turn practically any idea into an augmented reality app. From creating an AR-powered app that makes it possible to measure every little thing in a room just by waving your camera over it to pointing your iPhone’s camera at a food item and being provided with food recipes that include that food.
The point is, though, to create genuinely useful augmented reality apps, which is what seems developers can now achieve with ARKit.
Why do developers swear by ARKit?
Developers are ecstatic using ARKit for the following reasons:
The motion sensor, processors, and cameras that come with iOS devices are designed to access augmented reality solutions. With the ARKit being able to track the layout or orientation of different objects, using cameras to understand the lighting and geometry of scenes captured by a camera, developers have the extraordinary opportunity to place graphics that remain fixed on specific surfaces like ceilings, chairs, and tables, as the user moves the camera around, and create all sorts of new experiences.
All that aside, Apple is not the only company that provides tools to help developers build AR apps. There are alternatives like Kudan that have been around for many years. However, developers are enthusiastic about Apple’s solution mainly because ARKit’s tools sit on the iPhone’s core operating system, which makes it easier for them to create convincing experiences and apps that run more smoothly due to the absence of an added layer of image processing. On top of that, it is the capability of ARKit to keep virtual objects firmly in place rather than make them appear as if they float askew that also excites developers.
Whether AR is the future or not is a real challenge that will be defined by market share and, of course, developers themselves. Google has recently answered to Apple’s ARKit with its own offspring, the ARCore, which, according to leading mobile app and technology news provider Appyspot, seems to combat Apple’s augmented reality platform as equals.
Harry Lee, CEO of leading mobile app development agency CitrusBits quotes:
“In the next decade, we believe SMBs and large businesses will also go all-in on mobile strategies, as they learn from the successes of their peers and face increasing demand for mobile experiences from their customers and partners.”
Let’s face it. Virtual and augmented reality are the next day and although it is impossible to predict which company will dominate this technology, we can definitely say that it is a great time for developers (seasoned and newbies alike) to sharpen their skills and create the apps of tomorrow.
CitrusBits offers top-notch augmented reality (AR) mobile app development services, leveraging the latest technologies and tools to create immersive and engaging AR experiences. Our expert team specializes in crafting customized AR solutions that cater to the unique requirements of businesses across various industries.
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