Apple’s iOS 11 release

It’s been about a month since Apple’s latest operating system for the iPhone, iPad- iOS 11 was released.  It has proved to a rocky release, with four upgrades in just three weeks for bug fixes. But here at Menlo, we are excited about the many new features that iOS 11 boasts, including phone-to-phone Apple pay, an even ‘smarter’ Siri, and an even more spectacular camera.

The iOS 11 update is also the first Apple software update to support Augmented Reality apps created with the company’s ARKit development platform.

What is Augmented Reality?

Think Pokémon Go, the smartphone game that was released just a over a year ago and soared to the top of the download charts in less than a week. Augmented Reality(AR) is the technology that overlays digital images on a real background seen through a smartphone camera.

The launch of iOS 11 gives Augmented Reality(AR) a boost, as the software is eligible out of the box for the new iPhone 8 and iPhone X, and for download by millions of iPhones and iPads already in use. This latest version of ARKit for iOS 11 allows for “fast and stable motion tracking” that makes objects look like they’re actually being placed in real space, instead of simply hovering over them. ARKit also features 3D mapping and is more immersive compared to other AR app creation environments.

Apple first showcased ARKit, at the WWDC in June and since then ARKit has been open to developers to get a feel for the new platform.

Top AR Apps?

You guessed it, games.

According to a recent study by Sensor Tower mobile games accounted for 53% of ARKit-only app downloads and 62% of revenues so far, making the category most popular.

Utilities apps are in second place with 19% of installs, followed by entertainment (11%), education (7%), photo & video (6%) and Lifestyle (5%). The remaining ARKit apps (“Other”) make up 8% of ARKit apps.

By the way, do yourself a favor and download AR MeasureKit right now. MeasureKit can measure almost anything using just an iPhone or iPad camera. You can easily measure angles, check if something is perfectly level, or measure your room dimensions without crawling on the ground.

How will AR be used in the future?

Some examples:

Digital Marketing:  Augmented Reality is recognized as an enhanced marketing application that customers can engage with at home, in store, or on the go with apps such as Ikea Place.

Healthcare: Both AR and VR can imact  healthcare for the better in the future. In the case of AR, the use of technology in medicine and healthcare is basically a natural consequence of the technological development and data boom. Plenty of information, but also very specific kind of data has been flooding physicians for years. The paper format was changed for electronic health records (EHR), but the information flow remained very static so far. It must become more and more seamless and help the healing process. Patients’ lives cannot depend on whether the doctor can access the latest and most relevant data – and AR can help us with apps such as AccuVein.

Education: Educational resources are magnified by Augmented Reality systems and can be used to recreate events or transform books into 3D images all superimposed in real-time.  Augmented Reality is an excellent virtual assistant for educators in classroom settings and helps students gain a deeper understanding on the topic. By overlapping content to media, the reading experience is made more enriching, like in apps from Augument.

Workforce Training: With augmented reality, workers can learn procedures more effectively and perform them more accurately, thanks to animation-based instructions and reference materials overlaid onto physical equipment. Thus, the dependency on hard copy instructions or user manuals is eliminated, and the understanding of how to fix issues is visually and specifically communicated.

The possibilities for AR are truly endless.

We want to hear from you on this subject:

  1. How do you think AR will be used in the future?
  2. What is your favorite AR App?

We will share your ideas in a future blog post.

Are you looking for a team of mobile AR application developers?

Menlo Technologies is a global services company specializing in web and mobile technology. We’re leaders in high quality iOS and Android application development with an emphasis on innovative design.