Apple’s ambitions towards Augmented Reality are certainly not new to us! Apple boss and CEO, Tim Cook, has often talked about the potential benefits that AR Tech could offer to the user community. Last month at the WWDC 2017, Apple made its first move by introducing an ARKit as an iOS 11 tool which allows developers to create AR applications.
This tool is quite interesting as it allows iOS running devices to superimpose digital objects in the real world by creating interactive animations. And now, within just a month, it seems that Apple’s ARKit is now finding some potential and breakthrough applications in the world of VR.
Immersive media division, Nexus Studios, recently performed some experiments using the Apple ARKit on iPhone 7. These experiments were successful in introducing basic Inside-Out positional tracking capabilities for the Google Cardboard VR Headset.
Inside-Out Tracking for VR Using ARKit
The team at Nexus Studio claims that they have developed the inside-out positional tracking “at around 60 frames per second” for the Google Cardboard VR Headset. This is an impressive frame-rate compared to many other mobile VR Headset’s available today.
As per the above video released by Nexus Studios, you can see a ‘conceptual art museum’ created within a park while demonstrating inside-out tracking for VR and some basic level AR capabilities. As you move closer towards real-world objects like trees, a safety system activates and displays point-cloud structures in VR.
This solution also showed some basic level AR skills with some digital scenery affixed to the surrounding landscape and park trees. However, this is performed at quite an elementary level due to the lack of stereoscopic view which can’t be attained by iPhone 7’s monoscopic back camera.
The company says “It’s possible to do both pass-through AR (where the single camera feed is displayed to both eyes), as well as inside out positional tracking for VR at around 60 frames per second on an iPhone 7. That’s not enough for quick head movements, but as long as you are walking around and observing at a ‘gallery pace’, the tracking does a pretty good job of keeping you in the right spot.”
It seems that as more developers get their hands on ARKit, we will witness some interesting and potential real-life solutions coming out of this tool.