At WWDC, Apple could debut new multiplayer AR tools which allow two iPhone users to share the same augmented reality space.
The news was shared in a recent Reuters report. While short on details, the report suggests that it will be able to do this while minimizing the amount of personal data that is sent to servers.
“We’re definitely going into some uncharted territory,” said Joel Ogden, chief executive of Construct Studio, which makes augmented and virtual reality games. “There are a lot of really severe privacy implications we haven’t really explored yet.
If Apple does introduce multiplayer AR, it will be catching up with Google, which introduced similar tools at Google I/O back in May.
Google’s system is called Cloud Anchors, and works by getting one person to scan his or her environment and then upload the raw map data to Google, where it is sent to the other person to make them appear in the same physical space.
Google says it will get rid of raw mapping data after a week, but Apple’s system will apparently avoid storing this mapping data in the cloud at all. Whether this will happen, and what the physical limitations might be, remains to be seen. It sounds kinda cool, though!
A work in progress
ARKit is one of Apple’s most hyped research areas. Tim Cook said that barely any facet of our lives will remain “untouched” by augmented reality. Unfortunately, as of yet AR tech has yet to truly catch fire. While developers rushed to adopt ARKit following its September 2017 launch, the number of ARKit apps available today remains disappointing.
Can this year’s WWDC change all that? We’ve only got a few hours to wait and find out!