What it is: Apple recently released ARKit, a software framework that makes it easy to create augmented reality apps.
At Apple’s June developer’s conference, they released ARKit, an augmented reality framework for making it easy to create augmented reality apps. The release of ARKit means that augmented reality is coming to the next iPhone this fall and that Apple will likely debut augmented reality apps of their own on the next iPhone.
Apple has been acquiring augmented reality companies for years so it’s no surprise that they released ARKit. The only surprise is how long it took for them to release it. Part of ARKit involves best practices for creating augmented reality apps, which means Apple will likely have learned these best practices by making augmented reality apps themselves. That means we can expect to see Apple’s own augmented reality apps soon.
Augmented reality is a feature that Android could easily adopt. The big difference is that ARKit provides iOS developers with a single framework to use. Unless Google offers their own Android augmented reality framework, third-parties could rush in and that would mean multiple third-parties might fight it out for becoming the standard for augmented reality on Android. That creates confusion and incompatibility that Apple avoids entirely by promoting ARKit as the augmented reality standard framework.
Augmented reality will likely become a common feature on the iPhone for indoor navigation such as through airport terminals, shopping malls, museums, or convention centers. That means Apple could announce the new iPhone, with augmented reality apps available for journalists to try within the convention center itself. Apple likely wants to refine and debug their augmented reality apps to insure they work flawlessly. Then the announcement of augmented reality apps will drive iPhone sales while Android rushes to offer a competing solution.
Augmented reality will soon become part of our everyday life like search engines, mobile phones, and social media networks. When you see the future of augmented reality on the iPhone, you’ll see the future of smartphones in general.