For the past few years at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference, Cupertino introduces the latest augmented reality breakthroughs it's worked into iOS. This year is no different, as the company showed off the third generation of its ARKit platform, as well as two new frameworks designed to help developers add augmented reality functions into apps more easily: RealityKit and Reality Composer.
The big addition in ARKit 3 is People Occlusion, which will give iOS devices the ability to insert individuals in the camera view into augmented reality spaces. To illustrate a use case, Apple ran a live demo of Mojang's upcoming Minecraft Earth, in which you'll be able to construct environments in a tabletop-like setting.
If multiple people are playing Minecraft Earth together, they'll be able to watch each other build the game world, and labels will even be placed above players' heads to identify who's who.
At one point, the game environment moved off the table and onto Apple's WWDC stage, where one of the players appeared — scaled down appropriately — inside the Minecraft world, with graphics appearing in front of and behind them. Mojang says Minecraft Earth's ability to utilize People Occlusion in this way will only be possible on iOS 13.
Furthermore, ARKit 3 unlocks the ability to conduct Motion Capture live through the device's camera. And to ensure that the potential of these new features isn't lost on enterprising new developers, Apple says it is building tools to make it easier to create AR experiences, both in XCode on Mac as well as directly in iOS.
RealityKit and Reality Composer are two of those tools. RealityKit rolls in photorealistic rendering, environmental and camera effects, animation, physics and audio seamlessly into AR-centric projects. Reality Composer is designed to assist developers who have little experience working with 3D content embed it into their apps. There will be a built-in AR content library, meaning developers won't have to source their own 3D assets if they don't want to.
ARKit 3 is arriving in iOS 13, which will be available as a public beta in July before its full release this fall.
Stay on top of all Apple's announcements today by visiting our WWDC 2019 hub page.
Image Credit: Apple