Apple is rolling out an updated version of its augmented reality platform, ARKit to developers in a beta version today.
The most intriguing feature of the latest ARKit 1.5 is vertical plane detection, meaning that the sensors in the iPhone or iPod will not only recognize the floor now but also the walls of the room you are standing in.
Up until now, the ARKit had support for horizontal planes only. Developers could only add the floor into the 3D space, but not the walls, windows and doors.
This latest version of the AR toolkit will allow developers to build app features utilizing the vertical spaces along with the horizontal ones. They can also define the vertical surfaces in conjunction with the horizontal spaces. For example consider a velcro game board, till now while playing the game, if u missed the board, the ball would just float in space. However, now you will see the balls hitting the walls or other objects and even bouncing back.
As part of the update, the ARKit has improved in horizontal plotting too, which means that it will now easily recognize objects with irregular shapes like circular tables or chairs and line detection.
ARKit will now also support imagery in 1080p HD as compared to the previous version which displayed the real world at 720p.
Another added feature that seems very minor but is a real game changer is computer vision-based image recognition. 2D images (posters or pictures on a wall) can now be parsed by the ARKit and developers can map their physical position on a surface or space
Now while visiting a museum you can simply point your iPhone at a painting and immediately see the painter(s) explaining their artwork. Or you can simply watch the recreation of a rocket by just a poster of it.
Google’s AR tool ARCore only supports two types of horizontal plane, the horizontal upward and the horizontal downward. Despite the many requests for vertical plane detection, the company hasn’t announced any update yet.
The ARKit has been used for building more than 2,000 apps from the time it was first announced by Apple.
The update isn’t a full version update, but just a point update and considering the number of applications this ARKit enables, we don’t know what possibilities the complete version update will hold.