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Augmented Reality – The next great frontier

It was an exciting week for the Apple Developer Community.  Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC) kicked off Monday with a keynote speech by CEO Tim Cook.

In an unusual move for the software focused event – there were several significant new hardware announcements.  New iMacs, Mac Portables and even a home speaker solution named “Home Pod.”  Home Pod is Apple’s answer to the growing smart home assistant category.  Scheduled to release in December. Apple’s spin on the device is a home speaker designed for music with Siri as an added bonus.

Among the announced features coming to iOS 11 was ARKit.  ARKit is a new API (Application Programming Interface) designed to allow 3rd party developers a relatively easy way to create augmented reality apps.  Promising demonstrations showed some really interesting examples of how this technology could be implemented.

Augmented reality allows a user to see the camera image of their iPhone or iPad Augmented with virtual elements.  The most commonly known example of this would be the wildly popular “Pokemon Go!” app.

The difference between existing games and what this new API will allow is a level of complexity and power that cannot easily be achieved without the operating system level of integration.  It will take this technology to the next level.

iOS 11 is available for developer testing now and will be released for all iOS users this fall.

WWDC ends this afternoon.