How Exciting is ARKit?

I couldn’t believe it was real at first, but you may have seen this video going viral recently:

Apple, and many other development companies, have been working hard to bring Augmented Reality on another step by creating ‘portals’ that you can step into whilst wearing a headset, or looking at your phone, merging the virtual and real worlds together.

It’s not quite VR because you’re augmenting the real world slightly, but for me AR has always been the more exciting of the two.

This technology is showcased perfectly above as a way to go to a football stadium and watch a game, soaking in the atmosphere, without leaving your house.

There are other videos online of people going to meetings with people without leaving their office.

The perspective shift it can pull off with our eyes makes it seem feasible that in the short term this tech could easily replace cinemas and eventually televisions.

A simple headset using this technology could make the screen as big as you need it to be and as immersive as required.

My prediction is people will start to toy with immersive television and video games that replace the traditional flat screen stories.

People like me who suffer from horrific motion sickness will inevitably prefer sticking to a 2D experience, but using this technology to fill the room with as much screen as our eyes can handle.

I can imagine getting a pair of glasses to do this job when I want it to at first, but eventually – like with smart phones 5-10 years back, it’ll all move into the rim of this technology eventually.

We’ve seen google glass before now, but it wasn’t the right time then, and people looked ridiculous.

With this kind of AR tech you could be reading texts, emails, and social media that looks like it is the right distance from your face to comfortably read it.

You can switch on useful cues and measurements, and whatever else you need.

In the short term one thing that I love about this technology is how it is being adapted into Pokemon Go this week.

They’ve added in a new feature this week (I don’t know that it is live yet) where Pokemon you see in the wild actually seem to be where they look like they’re standing on your mobile.

It currently has an AR mode that makes them float around in your house, but this aims to put them in a firm place near you.

The game will challenge you to get close up and look at the Pokemon without spooking them.

If you can get near enough it’ll help you catch them more easily as big Pokemon like the Snorlax above will offer a larger target.

If you spook the Pokemon it’ll run away, and if you’re successful at getting close and taking pictures and so forth you’ll be awarded achievements as a ‘Pokemon Handler’.

The fact that one of the most popular and widely played games in the world is jumping into this technology is great to see and is exactly the kind of thing that will boost them.

I remember 6-7 years ago trying to write about Aurasma and Augmented Reality in a uni essay and everyone thought I was banging on about some irrelevant tech that would never kick off.

(I even suggested it would make an AMAZING Pokemon game if done properly…Niantic have maybe managed 50-75% of the doing it well thing, they’re definitely improving!)

If we can advance gloves, socks and other wearables that would enhance the augmented reality interaction by giving us feedback for touch and movement it would be even better.

In this specific app it would be cool to actually throw a Pokeball, or to stroke a Snorlax and have the gloves feedback a ‘realistic’ feeling of fur.

An even more awesome feature would be to feel the heat or coldness of a fire/ice Pokemon but that seems a bit too demanding!

I’m so impressed with what people are already doing with this Tech.

I wish I had the ability and dedication to get involved and make the things I want to see a reality.

Tell me what other cool things you’ve seen out there relating to this. What would you like to see?

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