Apple, at its annual developer conference — WWDC today, announced a bunch of upgrades for its homegrown Augmented Reality platform, ARKit. The most important one of them, however, is called “USDZ” (Universal Scene Description), a new AR format which can be employed for embedding 3D objects in websites, apps, and more.
USDZ, for starters, allows developers to integrate AR objects and graphics directly into web pages and their applications. One of the key benefits of adopting USDZ is the fact that iOS users can simply tap the file and superimpose it in the real world through the camera app. Although the lack of cross-platform compatibility here like various other Apple products might pull back a hefty chunk of developers. That being said, it’s worth mentioning Apple didn’t quite discuss whether USDZ is compatible with other platforms.
ARKit itself is also being upgraded with a couple of improvements. One of these is called “shared experiences” which essentially lets multiple iOS devices integrate with digital characters in a common virtual space. This enables, for instance, games like where two or more than two players can demolish the same set of Lego pieces. Incidentally, Google launched a similar feature last month at its developer conference, I/O.
Apart from that, Apple says ARKit now has better face tracking capabilities and much more “realistic” rendering. In addition to that, the company announced a new AR app called “Measures” which is exactly what it sounds like and lets you well, measure objects like boxes, tables, you get the idea. All of these changes will be available starting with iOS 12.