What it is: More advanced features of ARKit are rumored to appear at Apple’s upcoming WWDC in June.
When Apple introduced ARKit to create augmented reality apps, the demos were interesting but nothing impressive. What makes Apple’s ARKit seem so timid is that it’s based largely on Metaio’s technology, which is a German company that Apple acquired in 2015. Yet if you search for Metaio’s videos on YouTube, you can find an interesting augmented reality app called Time Traveler.
The goal behind Time Traveler is that if you stand in a certain location and aim your iOS device at a certain image, you can see a historical video playing. This lets you point an iPhone or iPad at a boarded up window along the Berlin Wall and see an old black and video of people climbing out of the window to jump to freedom in West Berlin. This type of augmented reality is still not yet available in ARKit three years later after Metaio clearly demonstrated these features back in 2013.
What this means is that if you want to get a glimpse of future features in ARKit, you just need to look at Metaio’s past videos on YouTube. Apple likely created ARKit to provide the foundation for augmented reality development. Now they’ll need to beef up its capabilities to match the features Metaio demonstrated yard ago.
Apple is simply transitioning Metaio’s technology to Swift and Objective-C as a software framework that they can develop further in the future. So while ARKit is still behind Metaio’s old 2013 technology, it points to what’s coming in ARKit. Once ARKit matches the features in Metaio’s old technology, it will only continue growing from there.
To see the future of ARKit, just look at the past with Metaio’s videos. The future is right in front of everyone’s eyes to see. It’s just a matter of time before people will recognize it.