ARKit

iOS 16’s RoomPlan captures 3D floor plans in seconds

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RoomPlan lets you create 3D floor plan using your iPhone's LiDAR scanner
RoomPlan puts the LiDAR Scanner on iPhones and iPads to good use.
Photo: Apple
WWDC22 - Brought to you by CleanMyMac X

A new framework dubbed RoomPlan will allow apps to quickly create 3D floor plans of rooms using the LiDAR Scanner in recent iPhones and iPads.

The Swift API will allow real estate and e-commerce apps to scan and create a room’s floor plan. This can then be used for remodeling and interior design changes. Despite its wow factor, Apple did not talk about the RoomPlan API onstage during Monday’s WWDC22 keynote.

The radical evolution of watchOS and what it tells us about Apple’s future

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I've seen the future and it's Apple Watch: The radical evolution of watchOS and what it tells us about Apple’s future.
I've seen the future and it's Apple Watch.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Unveiled at a special event way back in 2014, the first Apple Watch looked similar to the wearable we know and love today. But looks can be deceiving. Take the Digital Crown and Side Button, for example. Their design may not have changed, but their functionality is now very different.

Apple Watch went through a radical evolution over the past eight years. What started out as an “intimate way to connect and communicate,” has become primarily a health and fitness device.

This pivot is uncharacteristic of Apple. Products like iPod, iPhone and iPad launched with a clear vision and remained true to it. The Apple Watch’s evolution suggests a shift in Cupertino’s approach to new products, and provides tantalizing clues to the future of the company’s rumored next platform launch: realityOS.

Mixed-reality Apple glasses could add a new dimension to fitness

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How augmented reality could augment your workout
Will augmented reality augment your workouts?
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Like Apple Watch before it, Cupertino’s much-anticipated mixed-reality headset looks set to be another leap forward for fitness wearables.

Mixed reality is already commonplace in TV sports. You see it every time the virtual line of scrimmage is superimposed onto a football field. Now imagine that the players on the field can see that virtual line too, just like the viewers at home. That’s exactly what Apple’s latest gadget could deliver, adding a whole new dimension to sports and fitness.

Get the most from your iPhone’s augmented reality features [Deals]

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MagiMask
These AR goggles make the most of immersive games, interactive learning and 360-degree movies.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

The power of the new iPhones to produce augmented reality experiences is really amazing. Thanks to powerful graphics processing and cameras, it’s possible to overlay convincing 3D images over the real world.

Unfortunately, the only way to get that AR experience is typically through the phone screen — but not so with this headset and accessories.

Facebook boxes out Apple on AR displays

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Plessy
Plessy has been at the forefront of micro LED display development.
Photo: Plessy

Apple’s long-rumored augmented reality glasses project may have suffered a serious setback thanks to Facebook.

The social network company reportedly reached a licensing deal with Plessey, a British firm that makes displays specifically for augmented reality displays. Apple supposedly was looking into acquiring Plessey. But Facebook rushed in and struck an exclusive supply deal with the company, effectively shutting out Cupertino.

Apple’s ARKit 3.5 offers augmented reality enhanced wih LiDAR 3D mapping

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ARKit 3.5 offers improved people occlusion with its LiDAR 3D scanner.
ARKit 3.5 does a better of job of mixing people and virtual objects in augmented reality apps.
Photo: Apple

ARKit 3.5, the new version of Apple’s augmented reality software, can capture a 3D representation of the world in real time. This feature employs the LiDAR scanner that’s already in the 2020 Pad Pro and expected in some of this autumn’s iPhone models.

And the version of ARKit that debuted yesterday in iOS 13.4 is better at allowing virtual objects to pass in front of and behind people in the scene.

Apple AR tech will bring Alabama civil rights history to life

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Apple CEO Tim Cook at the launch of Ed Farm in Birmingham.
Apple CEO Tim Cook attended the debut of Ed Farm, an educational initiative in Alabama.
Photo: Tim Cook/Apple

In Birmingham today, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced Ed Farm, which will help teach students to program with Apple’s “Everyone Can Code” curriculum.

In addition, Cook  reportedly spoke about employing his company’s augmented reality tools in Birmingham’s civil rights historical sites.

You’ll be shopping in AR soon, thanks to Apple

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Apple AR Quick Look is augmented reality shopping
Apple’s AR Quick Look lets you see how this unique speaker, and other products, would look in your home.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Retailers that advertise with Apple’s AR Quick Look now have the option to add a “buy now” button directly in the augmented reality experience. Before this, shoppers could only look at items superimposed onto the real world.

This is just the latest part of Apple’s growing embrace of augmented reality.

2020 is the year Apple gets serious about augmented reality

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Apple augmented reality has business potential
Hardware changes in the 2020 iPad and iPhone could noticeably improve augmented reality’s usefulness.
Photo: Apple

Apple CEO Tim Cook called augmented reality “the next big thing” this week. But he kept quiet about his company’s specific plans for this emerging technology. So Cult of Mac reached out to industry analysts, who predict that this year’s iPhone and iPad will come with AR equipment built in. And, for the future, they’re optimistic about Apple’s rumored AR glasses.

Apple said to be working with Valve on first AR headset

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Valve-Index-headset
Valve already knows how to make headsets.
Photo: Valve

Apple is reportedly partnering with Valve, the company behind Steam, to develop its first augmented reality headset. Valve already offers a virtual reality headset of its own for gaming. But its work with Apple is said to be focused on AR, which Cupertino thinks will play an increasingly important role in the future.

Apple AR is already here, and you’re probably wearing it right now [Opinion]

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Apple AR already surrounds us.
Apple’s AR already surrounds us.
Photo: Drew Graham/Unsplash

“Apple is all-in on augmented reality. But where will it lead?” That’s a pretty standard view of Apple’s experiments with visual AR, aka overlaying virtual objects onto the real world, via the iPhone’s camera and screen.

But Apple is already providing a fully immersive AR overlay onto the real world, to millions of users — only it isn’t using a screen. AirPods are augmented reality. They are also a part of a new computing paradigm that Apple snuck into the world without telling anybody. This paradigm currently consists of AirPods, iPhone, Apple Watch and the HomePod. And it is as discreet and low-key as it is important.

Facebook eyes 2023 launch for smart glasses project

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Facebook messaging apps
Zuckerberg has reportedly asked that the project be made a priority.
Photo: Facebook

Apple’s long-rumored AR glasses project could get some competition from the world’s biggest social network company.

Facebook is reportedly developing its own augmented reality glasses. The social network recently struck a partnership with Ray-Ban parent company Luxottica to speed the product along, according to a new report.

How Apple will spark an AR boom [Cult of Mac Magazine 313]

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Apple's deep investment in augmented reality looks set to pay off.
Apple's deep investment in augmented reality looks set to pay off.
Cover: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Apple’s long bet on augmented reality is about to pay off. Thanks to new tools for developers, and hardware that can handle the advanced apps they create, an AR revolution is in the offing.

Find out how Apple will spark the AR boom in this week’s free issue of Cult of Mac Magazine. Download it now for iOS, or see the top stories below in your browser.

This is the start of a whole new era for Apple augmented reality

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Apple Park ARKit
Apple's augmented reality journey is just getting started.
Photo: Nobuyuki Hiyashi

When Apple introduced ARKit in 2017, the augmented reality platform was hailed as a game-changer. Two years later, Apple’s AR push looks ready to deliver the type of experience that gets CEO Tim Cook so excited he wants to scream.

Thanks to a trio of new augmented reality tools for iOS 13, and the very real possibility of an Apple AR headset on the horizon, 2019 promises to be the start of something truly special for Apple’s augmented reality efforts.

iOS 13 uses ARKit to solve one of the biggest FaceTime complaints

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2018 iPad Pro Animoji
The eye-line problem is finally fixed. If you own an iPhone XS or XS Max, that is!
Photo: Apple

There’s something weirdly off-putting about the eye-contact problem with video calling services like FaceTime and Skype.

It happens because users must choose either to look directly at the camera lens, and miss what’s happening on screen, or look at the screen and appear to be staring at the listener’s neck.

That’s not ideal for a tool that’s meant to make it seem like you’re having a face-to-face conversation. Fortunately, Apple fixes this shortcoming in iOS 13.

Awesome ARKit demo magics up an iMac out of thin air

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iMac Apple
Imagine having an iMac wherever you needed one.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Try as people might, moving an entire iMac around with you is never going to be easy. But what if all you had to do was to take the keyboard and mouse, and everything else would automatically follow?

That’s the vision of a nifty AR creation made by WWDC Scholar and Georgia Tech student Nicholas Grana. Check it out.

Apple’s first AR glasses to arrive in 2020 as iPhone accessory

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iOS 11.3 ARKit
Augmented reality will be even better with glasses.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s long-rumored augmented reality glasses will finally arrive in 2020, according to a trusted analyst.

The first-generation specs reportedly will function strictly as an iPhone accessory. They will depend on Apple’s smartphone for processing, rendering, location services and just about everything else. Mass-production of the Apple AR glasses could start later this year.

Leaked images of second-gen Google Glass reveal USB-C upgrade

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technoblog
Say hello to the new Google Glass.
Photo: Tecnoblog

Google Glass is set to get an upgrade later this year for enterprise users and it looks like USB-C charging will be one of the big new features.

Leaked images of the second-generation Google Glass for enterprise surfaced on the web today. The images show that Google is ditching its magnetic cable charging system in favor of a single quick-charging port.

Take a closer look:

Control devices with a wave of your hand using this sci-fi ring

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Litho
Litho is an input device for the real world.
Photo: Litho

Ever wish you could control your smart home devices without reaching for your iPhone? A new finger-worn controller is trying to make that a reality and it could be a total gamechanger for ARKit apps.

Litho, a small controller you wear on two fingers, gives wearers the ability to control iPhone connected devices by pointing, swiping and taping. It also doubles as a controller for AR apps so you don’t have to keep tapping on the screen.

Prepare to be amazed:

Apple names senior exec to promote its augmented reality initiatives

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There are plenty of AR apps but few people have heard of them. An Apple veteran has been tasked with changing that.
Frank Casanova is Apple's new AR boss.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s augmented reality efforts have a new spokesperson. Frank Casanova has been named head of marketing for Apple’s AR offerings.

Apple has been hard at work in this area for years, but its developer tools and the resulting AR apps haven’t attracted significant attention. Perhaps that’s why there’s a new senior director in charge of promoting them.

HoloLens creator leaves Apple AR headset team

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With HoloLens, Microsoft enters the age of holographic computing. Photo: Microsoft
There’s been a slight setback at Apple’s secret team creating augmented reality smartglasses, like the ones being demonstrated here.
Photo: Microsoft

One of the designers of Microsoft’s HoloLens augmented reality (AR) smartglasses has left Apple.

Although exactly what Avi Bar-Zeev was working on is a secret, it was almost certainly a project to develop Apple’s own AR glasses.

Apple met with AR startups at CES 2019

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ARkit
Apple is rumored to be developing AR glasses.
Photo: Dent Reality

Apple may not have had an official presence at CES 2019, but a new report claims that key personnel were present at the event to meet with leading AR companies.

More than half a dozen company representatives supposedly met with AR waveguide suppliers, including DigiLens, Lumus, Vuzix and WaveOptics. Waveguide is one of the most widely used structures in see-through AR displays, seen in products such as the Microsoft Hololens and Magic Leap One.

Lego Ninjago AR app brings toys to virtual life

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Lego Ninjago AR brings playsets to life in a mixed reality in game.
Lego Ninjago AR brings playsets to life in a mixed reality in game.
Photo: Lego

At Apple’s developer conference in June, Lego demonstrated an app built with ARkit that placed real Lego sets in virtual environments. The first version of that software just launched today.

Lego Ninjago AR lets players interact with certain Dragon Hunters sets. And two people can play together thanks to the multi-player capabilities added in ARkit 2.