Apple launches new augmented reality development API ARKit

Capitalizing on the recent boom in alternate reality, Apple announced an augmented reality API: ARKit.

Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering Craig Federighi showed off some of the ways that ARKit can be used to render AR in real-time.

Using a regular iPhone running ARKit, Federighi was able to render footage of a lamp casting light on a steaming cup of coffee, all in real-time.


When Federighi moved the cup closer or farther away from the light source, the cup’s shadow also changed to reflect the cup’s virtual position.

“Hundreds of millions” of iPhones will support ARKit, meaning that it will be the “largest AR platform in the world,” when it launches. ARKit will also enable game developers to utilize AR in their apps.

Apple notes that ARKit will support Niantic’s Pokemon Go, a widely popular AR app available on the App Store. Motion picture WingNut — associated with filmmaker Peter Jackson — will be releasing an AR experience on the App Store later this year.

An executive from WingNut was on-stage to showcase the work that the company has done so far utilizing ARKit.

Apple isn’t the first software giant to release an AR platform. Google’s Project Tango has been out for almost two years, and is currently available on devices by Asus and Lenovo.