Augmented Reality
01 Dec 2017

Augmented Reality

01 Dec 2017

Back this year Apple introduced a new feature in iOS 11: Enhanced augmented reality (AR) features that are enabled by Apple’s new ARKit software.  Apple using the iPhone and iPad as a showcase of augmented reality, and the company has given developers a suite of tools designed to help them build a new generation of apps.

#1 ARKit

In iOS 11 Apple introduce ARKit, a new framework that allows developers to easily create augmented reality experience for iPhone and iPad.


ARKit blends digital objects with the environment around you. Developers are finding that for the first time a robust and (with IOS11) widely available AR SDK that “just works” for their apps. There’s no need to fiddle around with markers or initialization or depth cameras or proprietary creation tools.


#2 Visual Inertial Odometry (VIO)


Technically ARKit is a Visual Inertial Odometry (VIO) system, with 2D plane detection. VIO means that the software tracks your position in space (your 6dof pose) in real-time i.e. your pose is recalculated in-between every frame refresh on your display, about 30 or more times a second. These calculations are done twice, in parallel. Your pose is tracked via the Visual (camera) system, by matching a point in the real world to a pixel on the camera sensor each frame. Your pose is also tracked by the Inertial system (your accelerometer & gyroscope — together referred to as the Inertial Measurement Unit or IMU). The output of both of those systems is then combined via a Kalman Filter which determines which of the two systems is providing the best estimate of your “real” position and publishes that pose update via the ARKit SDK. VIO system tracks the distance that your iPhone has travelled in 6D space. 6D means 3D of xyz motion (translation), plus 3D of pitch/yaw/roll (rotation).


#3 Plane Detection


The second main piece of ARKit is plane detection. This is needed so you have “the ground” to place your content on, otherwise, it would look like it’s floating in space. This is calculated from the features detected by the Optical system (those little dots you see in demos) and the algorithm just averages them out as any 3 dots defines a plane, and if you do this enough times you can estimate where the real ground is.

#4 Examples of AR apps on iOS

World Brush

Stack AR


IKEA Place

Star Wars

Ivo Valčić and Ivan Matok from our iOS team will showcase Augmented Reality on iOS and our Evolve MeetUp #4 on 06.12.2017, 17:00 o’clock. The Demo will be a real life demonstration, where attendees can experiance AR objects in the COIN coworking space in Zadar. Don’t miss it! 🙂

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