Apple AR: Everything You Need to Know

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September 15, 2021

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Introduction 

Both Apple hardware and software are designed to provide the greatest possible experience with augmented reality (AR). Unique machine learning and cutting-edge developer tools merge with advanced cameras, stunning displays, motion sensors, and powerful graphics processors to create convincing and entertaining AR experiences. However, this is only scratching the surface of what Apple AR is capable of. 

If you are reading this article, and you are excited about the possibilities that Apple AR provides businesses- don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Within this article, we will be detailing what Apple AR is, and more importantly, why you should be interested in it. By the end of this article, you should have a better understanding of Apple AR and be able to make an informed decision on whether or not to use it in your business or personal life. 

What is Apple Augmented Reality? 

Apple claims that they have “the world’s largest AR platform, with hundreds of millions of AR‑enabled devices, as well as thousands of AR apps on the App Store. And because Apple hardware and software are designed from the ground up for AR, there is no better way to experience AR.” It is no surprise that Apple is one of the main leaders in developing AR technologies for the future as Apple has seemingly dominated every realm of business that they have dabbled in. Apple has decided to split its AR focus across both software and hardware platforms. Below, we will delve into three of Apple AR’s biggest innovations. 

ARKit 

ARKit is Apple’s developer platform that allows individual developers to design engaging AR experiences on IOS devices. ARKit 5 is the most up-to-date version of Apple’s ARKit developer software, and it provides an array of unique features. Some included features are, depth API, instant AR, motion capture, scene geometry, and people occlusion. Each of these features contributes to Apple AR’s realism and enables instant placement of virtual objects that blend them seamlessly with their physical surroundings.

Apple also provides similar developer services that allow for a more comprehensive creation process for developers. These include RealityKit 2, Reality Composer, and Reality Converter. As you can see, Apple does not fall short in its ability to provide high-quality AR developer tools which are to be expected. 

AR Quick Look 

As the name suggests, AR Quick Look allows users to place virtual material they provide on any surface that ARKit detects in the real world. With touch motions, users may move and scale your virtual material, or they can share it with others through the iOS share sheet.

According to Apple’s developer blog, Quick Look allows iPhone and iPad built-in apps, including Safari, Messages, Mail, News, and Notes, to show USDZ files of virtual objects in 3D or AR. In your applications and websites, you may integrate Quick Look views to allow users to see highly realistic item representations in a real-world setting with support for audio playing. 

Apple Quick Look

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Apps 

Apple is widely known for its app development, and there are a plethora of AR-based apps found on Apple’s app store. Apple changed the world with the popularization of apps, and they are looking to change the world yet again by combining apps with AR technology on a large scale. Some of the most intriguing uses of Apple AR on the IOS store are the apps Complete Anatomy, Warby Parker, and IKEA Place. You may be asking yourself exactly what makes these apps so special? Hold on tight, because we will explain the uses of these apps further. 

Use Cases 

Early Stage 

Crunchbase states that “Elsevier is a world-leading provider of information solutions that enhance the performance of science, health, and technology.” Elsevier utilized Apple’s ARKit technology to create their app Complete Anatomy. Complete Anatomy is an AR based app that allows physical therapists and other medical professionals to quantify the improvement by their patient’s via 3D renderings of the human body. Medical professionals can use these renderings to study the human body more acutely as well as track patient’s improvements in movement patterns across a given time frame. 

Apple AR App

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Mature Stage 

According to CrunchBaseWarby Parker is a lifestyle brand that offers designer eyewear while being a socially conscious business.” Warby Parker is another wise brand that decided to take advantage of Apple’s ARKit platform. They incorporated AR technology into their mobile app by allowing users to try on different types of glasses through their phone screen. This allows for a smoother customer experience serving as a prime example of how Apple AR can improve the quality of business for all parties involved.  

Warby Parker App

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Growth Stage 

One of the primary reasons retail businesses have invested in AR technology is to assist customers in making more educated purchase selections. Gucci was one of the first premium companies to do so, offering an augmented reality function to its app that allowed users to ‘try on’ sneakers. This is a very practical application of augmented reality in retail; by providing customers with a visual depiction of how a product would appear in real life, the technology has the capability to minimize returns and increase customer happiness. 

Employee Facing 

There are many ways Apple AR can be used to train employees. A great example is the IOS app Virtual Tech Trainer. AR boosts training in this demo app by allowing many users to engage within the same AR scenario repairing technical equipment. The instructor’s iPad actions are reflected on the employee’s iPad, which is useful for working through complicated topics and giving the employee a realistic view of the actual equipment. All of this is achieved without the need to meet in person, a pandemic proof way to continue to better employees.

Customer Facing

Overstock is an online retailer that sells brand-name items for low prices. Overstock allows you to place 3D models of thousands of products into your home using their IOS app. You can then share pictures of the AR models and put the objects in your cart, and you are even capable of buying them with Apple Pay. This is another great example of how effective AR can be in the retail industry. 

How Does Apple AR Relate to UX? 

Apple’s ARKit opens up augmented reality to all users, which allows for businesses to be more innovative than ever. There’s no telling how much these innovations can improve upon UX design. As stated in previous articles, AR is great for improving the visualization of a product. Companies such as the ones listed in this article have used AR within their apps to aid in consumer’s abilities to view digital renderings of products. This makes the user experience better for consumers because they do not have to go through the painstaking process of physically ordering items and seeing if they work. With so many major companies adopting Apple AR’s technology, who knows what the future could have in store?

Conclusion 

Hopefully, you realize that AR is not going anywhere, and Apple will continue to create high-quality AR hardware and software. Whether you are someone who just has a general interest in AR technology or a business owner looking to utilize this technology, you should be keeping up with Apple AR. With that being said, it can be quite difficult to know everything there is to know about Apple AR. If you have any questions regarding Apple AR contact us at Designial.com. We will be more than happy to assist you.