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ARKit 1.5 Opens a Whole New Realm of Possibilities

Last week Apple announced that the forthcoming iOS 11.3, currently in beta, would introduce ARKit 1.5 – the next evolution of AR tools the company launched last summer.

ARKit 1.5 brings enhancements in a number of ways, including being able to map surfaces better, offer 50% better resolution, and more. The most exciting improvement, however, is that ARKit can now be used to interact with vertical surfaces, rather than only horizontal ones.

Developers have begun experimenting with the new features included in ARKit 1.5, and several have shared their early tests on Twitter.

Andrew Hart uses ARKit inside a bookstore to pull up additional information about different books, such as their star ratings and prices online, and story descriptions.

Readdle co-founder Andrian Budantsov shows digital bouncy balls being lobbed at, and bouncing off of, the computer monitors on his desk.

Laan Labs demonstrates new room mapping possibilities.

Finally, Mohammad Azam has a trio of demos showing off: a) a concept where pointing your phone at a movie poster begins playing that film’s trailer in AR; b) ARKit’s ability to detect barcodes on everyday products; and c) an AR-powered digital wall clock.

While the first version of ARKit was impressive from a technical standpoint, its impact on the world of apps has so far been fairly limited. With the addition of vertical surface detection and other improvements, ARKit 1.5 appears primed to push the technology into more practical, mass market uses.

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