According to a recent Reuters report, Apple is set to unveil some new features in its supposed release of ARKit 2.0, the company’s augmented reality toolkit for iOS 11 devices. Reported changes coming to the platform include multiuser AR that runs on a local peer-to-peer network, ensuring the resultant data, such as room scans, remain private.
Citing people familiar with the subject, Apple is said to have designed its two-player system out of privacy concerns—a departure from how Google currently handles multiplayer AR.
Google ARCore, the company’s Android-based counterpart to Apple ARKit, requires scans of a player’s environment to be sent to, and stored in, the cloud in something the company dubs ‘Cloud Anchors’.
In Apple’s ARKit 2.0, Reuters reports, the company will avoid storing any raw mapping scans of a user’s environment in the cloud. Google says it discards raw mapping data after a week.
Many developers have already created ad hoc multiplayer games for both ARKit and ARCore prior to official support, but with Apple’s built-in support for this very specific way of connecting with other users, it’s likely to push the future of apps in a more social direction.
While Apple has placed an ever-increasing emphasis on smartphone-driven AR, Apple CEO Tim Cook publicly said there are still plenty of challenges to consider before the company would release an AR headset, but ultimately, that’s where the technology is headed.
“The display technology required, as well as putting enough stuff around your face – there’s huge challenges with that. The field of view, the quality of the display itself, it’s not there yet,” he says. “We don’t give a rat’s about being first, we want to be the best, and give people a great experience. But now anything you would see on the market any time soon would not be something any of us would be satisfied with. Nor do I think the vast majority of people would be satisfied.”
Apple is said to unveil ARKit 2.0 at the company’s yearly Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), which takes place June 4th-8th in San Jose, California.
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