The augmented reality (AR) war between Apple’s ARKit and Google’s ARCore certainly seems to be hotting up if rumours about today’s WWDC 2018 conference are correct. With Google holding its I/O conference last month, this week it’s the turn of Apple, with not only iOS 12 expected to be announced but also a new version of ARKit.
As reported by Reuters, Apple looks set to add official cross smartphone gameplay functionality into what will be ARKit 2.0. The basic premise behind it is that two people will be able to view the same digital object, enabling them to interact on their own devices yet sharing the game world. Google has already come up with its version, Cloud Anchors, for multiplayer style AR experiences.
Regarding the technology, there is concern about privacy – which big tech companies already know is a dicey area. To work AR software needs to scan your surrounding area to get a gist of the location and suitable flat surfaces for digital object placement. Reuters reports that Google will store this scan data in the cloud, while ARKit will just be a two-player phone-to-phone system, which should mean players data is more secure and not stored in the cloud.
Currently no other details have surfaced regarding Apple’s ARKit plans but expect to hear about them a little later today once the WWDC 2018 keynote gets underway. CEO Tim Cook is focusing Apple’s R&D towards AR and not virtual reality (VR), having previously issued statements saying AR is: “big and profound.”
Of course alongside ARKit 2.0 many are expecting the first concrete news about iOS 12, with plenty of new features along with it. These will likely include further AR integration, with more Animoji for Apple’s iPhone X for example. If any of this does occur, you can be sure VRFocus will let you know and keep you up to date.
Source: Apple Could Unveil ARKit 2.0 at WWDC With a Focus on Multiplayer