ARKit has changed the way Augmented Reality is created and consumed. Previously, we had to rely on trackpads (printed materials) to generate the 3D content to be viewed. This meant, you would use your device to scan the trackpad which would then overlay the 3D content on top of it. Now thanks to ARKit, we no longer need trackpads as this innovative technology has the capability to scan, interpret and understand the environment around us. This exciting development means your device now has the capability to map the 3D world, meaning it understands where the ground and the floor is, and that there are tables or chairs in the room. So, once you can map the spatial environment you are then able to layer content over the top of it in a way that is believable. And believability is a big deal in AR. Users need to believe that the 3D content is actually in reality with them, and failing to achieve this ultimately defeats the purpose of what we are trying to accomplish.
ARKit and Activate
What gets us excited the most about ARKit? First off , this technology has allowed us at Activate to overcome several challenges when creating AR experiences for our clients. Having to rely solely on using augmented technology that is dependent on trackpads is very inhibiting. It inhibits the size of the augmented content that can be generated in reality and limits the functionality of the content that can be displayed. Our first project using ARKit was an app we developed for Suzuki QLD. Suzuki QLD wanted an AR app that allowed their customers to have a virtual close-up of the Swift 2017, while being able to customise the features and learn more about what the car has in it. Initially we used the traditional style of AR using a trackpad, and then Apple released ARKit which allowed us to rebuild the app. A whole new experience was opened up as the 3D model of the car was now able to be viewed outside of the limitations of the trackpad.
The realistic and magical nature of AR experiences generated through ARKit also opened up an innovative and exciting experience for young minds. Using ARKit we built a project called R.E.M.I, an empathy building app for young people. The idea is that the children navigate their way through an interactive comic book, answering a series of questions based on this robot named R.E.M.I who has crash landed into earth from out of space. How empathetic they are when answering the questions determines how R.E.M.I looks in AR. This type of technology is a great way to get young people to emphasise as they are able to build a robot that is placed so seamlessly and realistically into their reality.
Finally, ARKit is quite simply a bounding leap in the right direction. We are no longer relying on specifically built pieces of machinery for people to be able to bring AR into their world, as the technology is quite literally in the palm of our hand. ARKit is amazing technology that is opening up a world of magical opportunities for our clients and our Activate team.
At Activate Entertainment we are producers of film, animation & augmented reality applications for clients big and small. Engage us to produce your film or media. From concept through to delivery we are experts in Film, Design, Illustration, Animation (2D & 3D), and Augmented Reality.