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ARKit augmented reality tools in iOS 11 will make iPhone, iPad world's largest AR platform

By Mike Wuerthele

Making good on the previous promise that Apple would be taking an interest in augmented reality in the future, Apple Vice President Craig Federighi announced ARKit, a developer toolset that it will make available to nearly istantaneously make the iPhone and iPad the largest AR platform in the world.

In a demonstration of software produced by the new ARKit, the software identified a table surface, and applied a virtual coffee cup properly scaled to the surface. Following a lamp's addition to the surface, the lighting model adjusted dynamically as Federighi moved the lamp around the cup.

Federighi noted that Apple's integration with the iOS and the iPhone hardware allowed for the technology. Companies said to be given demonstrations of the technology include Lego, Ikea, and more.

Wingnut AR is "Lord of the Rings" director Peter Jackson's company involved in augmented reality, and demonstrated live gameplay in Unreal Engine 4, with the audience clearly in the shot. A demo of Wingnut AR is expected in late 2017.

Apple will be providing code to developers for the ARKit at WWDC. The software will accompany Apple's iOS 11 beta releases.

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