5 Awesome iPhone AR Demos Made Using Apple’s ARKit

by David Jagneaux • June 28th, 2017

A lot of people believe that when things are all said and done that augmented reality (AR) will be the dominant technology over the likes of virtual reality (VR.) The two formats often get lumped in together but actually offer almost directly opposite opportunities. VR, for example, immerses the user in a digital space that doesn’t actually exist whereas AR brings aspects of the digital space into the real world around you.

On the heels of Apple’s developer-friendly ARKit announcement users have already taken to the toolset to create some amazing proof of concept demos. In fact, it’s already being used to make Pokemon GO even better. Now by perusing the excellent Twitter feed at MadeWithARKit we broke out some of our favorites, included below:

Draw In The Air Using Your iPhone

Google’s Tilt Brush is often one of the very first VR apps people try. It’s easy to use, simple to understand, and amazingly powerful with what you can accomplish in a short period of time.

Naturally, the AR-equivalent is expected to be a big hit when the day finally comes. This proof of concept shows just how cool it would be to draw in 3D space in the air around you using AR.

Measure 3D Objects In Real-Time 

Have you ever been doing something like hanging pictures, buying appliances, or just moving furniture around and needed to know a specific measurement but didn’t know where the tape measure was, didn’t have the right size, or simply didn’t want to go get the tool you needed? AR has the potential to alleviate a lot of those issues.

What if you could just pull out your phone and have it measure things in 3D space without any other equipment necessary? Point at a picture frame and measure the size or check the size of your book shelf before carrying it into another room.

Play A Real World Version Of Space Invaders 

When discussing the greatest and most influential classic games of all-time, Space Invaders has to be near the top of the list. It’s a legend. The game was so popular in arcades in Japan there is even debate about whether or not it was to blame for the country’s national coin shortage at the time.

It’s a bit dated by modern standards now, but there is still a lot of fun to be had with shooting down aliens, even in AR. This demo shows what it could be like to seek and destroy the little baddies as they flutter around you instead of just on an arcade cabinet’s screen.

Witness The Moon Landing In Your Home

The United States’ historic moon landing in 1969 will forever go down as one of the greatest achievements in human history. Now you can witness something of a much smaller scale for yourself, in your own home, using the power of the iPhone’s ARKit.

It’s not quite the real thing, but it’s still a really cool concept!

Watch A Space X AR Rocket Landing

Space X has made a lot of headlines over the past year for its groundbreaking technology that enables the company to land and re-use rockets as opposed to them being destroyed when re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere.

Watching a landing in person is a rare sight, but now you can get the next best thing with this AR-recreation. The user above watched a landing right in their own backyard!

*BONUS: Play Minecraft In The Real World

This is a bonus entry because we already wrote about the project earlier this week. If you want to read more about Minecraft AR using Apple’s ARKit, then feel free to check out our previous story and watch the video above.

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  • Nope, I’m still not ready to drink the AR Kool-Aid.

  • Arkit an Apple company working on windows desktops, …the irony.

  • GarynTX

    AR through a phone or tablet seems useless to me.

  • random_name

    Despite not being a fan of Apple, I think these videos are really awesome.

  • BongBong

    IMO, AR clearly has far more potential than VR because it’s still possible to interact with the real world. Because Apple has opened up ARKit, there are millions of new possible uses for games, productivity, real estate, interior design… and the list goes on and on.

    • Stefan Küppers

      The thing with AR for me is that I see my 2 main issues still unresolved. One is believable lighting the other occlusion.
      A completely self contained VR world even at cartoony/ lower poly level is far more believable to me then a 3D object that has the correct angle towards a given surface but otherwise doesnt fit into the scenery at all.

      • BongBong

        Obviously your issues will be resolved in time. And AR on an iPhone or iPad is going to be more convincing than something like the Hololens or forthcoming Magic Leap (for example) for some time. With AR glasses the problem is the overlaid image never achieves full solidity. It looks like a transparency.