This past Saturday, July 21st, the Modernized Mobile team had the honor of presenting a snippet of our emerging Augmented Reality Technologies at the brand new Cade Museum located at 811 S. Main Street, Gainesville Florida. The Cade was built in honor of Dr. Robert Cade, founder of the legendary sports drink, Gatorade. This is Gainesville’s newest and possibly most innovative museum, boasting a highly interactive tour of the history of Gatorade, all centered around the actual chemistry lab where Gatorade was developed!
Also hosting, Duncan Kabinu with the Gainesville Dev Academy and John Tucker from Larkin and Tucker LLC. Two Powerhouses in the budding tech scene of Gainesville, Florida. What a privilege to be presenting alongside these talented tech figures and up next we are more than excited to show you about our AR endeavors!
This July marks the one year anniversary of Apple’s release of their first Augmented Reality framework for iOS, ARKit. ARKit provides developers the ability to create apps which utilize an iPhone’s camera and sensors in order to produce 3D objects and scenes. Augmented reality differs from virtual reality in that virtual objects interact with real life structure whereas in virtual reality the entire environment and objects within are fictitious. The possibilities in these markets are endless, and here at Modernized Mobile we are set to ride this virtual wave.
Since the inception of ARKit, only a handful of noteworthy apps have really used this technology effectively; yet millions of dollars are reported, every few weeks, to be invested into various shadowy AR ventures. This is due to the high learning curve for such a sophisticated product combined with the segmented roll-out of the various tools within the ARKit library.
Summer 2017: ARKit 1.0 Launch
Previous to ARKit, developers were forced to use third party software to handle the three dimensional computing required in order to process this type geo-spatial funtionality. Tools such as Unity3D, Maya, and Blender were mandatory in order to have any sort of real-time pseudo-reality. This is how the Pokemon Go app and phenomenon came to rise, long before the advent of ARKit.
ARKit came loaded with many functions, or development tools, that allowed for detection of planes and aligning the real-world with an augmented reality. However, creating virtual objects using real models still required unstable third party integrations. This combination gave rise to countless demo apps showcasing the raw power of an augmented reality, however most of these preliminary AR apps continued to lack any significant real-world applications.
Spring 2018: ARKit 1.5 toolkit revealed
ARKit 1.5 tools were released this past Spring, which provided the framework which allowed for an increase in 3D object and plane detection accuracy. Initially, vertical planes were difficult to detect consistently, particularly vertical objects on a plane. For example, imagine mapping a light fixture on the side of a house; the wall would then be the ‘ground’ plane. ARKit 1.5 addressed this issue seamlessly, allowing for highly accurate measurements, which birthed the chain of AR apps similar to Measure. Measure allows a user to do exactly what it sounds like; measure distances using AR with shocking accuracy!
Alongside these distance tracking tools, the 1.5 update brought image recognition. This is the feature that really caught our eye. Our development team has been testing numerous functionalities and features using these image recognition tools. We are currently building an app for the newly opened Cade Museum, which will boast an AR-guided tour. We cannot disclose too much information just yet, but stay tuned for big announcements.
September 2018: ARKit 2.0 Release
In this years WorldWide Developer’s Conference, Apple announced the upcoming launch date for ARKit 2.0. The update is vastly expansive, and will provide even more accuracy with regards to face-tracking, overall rendering and 3D object detection. This is extraordinary news, as these technologies work very well with the current release. Additionally, ARKit 2.0 is set to add shared experiences, persistent tracking and the ability for two more people and/or objects to interact within the same AR space.
For example, if user A uploads a 3D chair into an app, User B is able to interact and sit in that chair, digitally, of course. If both users power off their devices and returned to the same augmented reality, the chair would still be in place. This is persistent tracking, where historically this level of data management was too heavy.
Lastly, Apple has announced a new file type for 3D models. This state-of-the-art file type, USDZ (Universal Scene Description), was developed by Pixar and is used for transmitting AR objects in a more dynamic style. This will allow iPhone users to potentially scan any 3D object in real-time and transfer those files via text or other common social platforms. Needless to say, Augmented Reality is truly the next frontier.
So stay tuned to our social media for exciting insight into what our developers have cooking up in the MoMo Lab, you don’t want to miss this new world of AR.