Stockpile AR Site View

Mainstreaming Augmented Reality: No Headset Required, Part 1

This entry is part 31 of 80 in the series Pangaea

Augmented reality technology is rapidly evolving into the mainstream; now you can employ and enjoy AR on your smartphone.

Let’s start with Apple’s ARKit, a software developers’ kit (SDK) for augmented reality.

Apps developed on this platform will work with all iPhones and iPads that use the A9 or A10 processor and are running iOS 11. Basically, this includes the iPhones 6/6 Plus and 7/7 Plus and the new 9.7” iPad and iPad Pro versions (post-iPad 2.) If you want to democratize a technology, it helps to have the reach of the massive installed base Apple’s devices provide.

While ARKit works only on iOS 11 to be released this fall, developers have already been busy developing apps within the beta version. Let’s take a look at some of these practical apps:

Stockpile Reports’ Site View. The team over at Stockpile Reports has put together a prototype using 3D data from UAS-collected data. The AR prototype shows a worksite as if it were floating in mid-air. It allows you to see virtual objects projected into the camera view and interact with those objects. Check out the mind-blowing video on YouTube.

Room Measurement. SmartPicture3d has created an ARKit-based app that can be used to measure a room and derive square footage, too. See the video demo here.

AR Measure. AR Measure turns your phone into a ruler. Point your phone and click a point to measure almost anything. The company’s demo shows how the app uses AR to measure the distance between points in 3D space.

Navigation. Developer Andrew Hart has teamed ARKit with Core Location for a snazzy AR-enabled navigation app. See a demo on his Twitter page and follow the blue AR path to Starbucks!

Moonwalk. Want to walk on the Moon but can’t wait for SpaceX to get there? Here’s the next best thing, developer Tony Alazeub’s AR Moonwalk!

Keep in mind that these augmented reality apps were developed before the actual iOS 11 rollout slated for this fall, so expect way more when Apple’s new OS goes live. For more examples, bookmark and check back often.

Next issue: Google’s ARCore

Pangaea LogoThis article appeared in xyHt‘s e-newsletter, Pangaea. We email it twice a month, and it covers a variety of unusual geospatial topics in a conversational tone. You’re welcome to subscribe to the e-newsletter here. (You’ll also receive the once-monthly Field Notes newsletter with your subscription.)

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