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Apple RealityKit makes it easy to create augmented reality apps

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Tom Chatfield
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Summary

  • Apple Reality Composer: a library of models and 3D animations

Until now, the creation of augmented reality applications has been reserved for developers with skills in creating 3D apps. An obstacle that dissuades many enthusiasts from getting started, and therefore limits the number of AR applications in circulation.

As part of WWDC 2019, in addition to its ARKit 3 framework, Apple unveiled RealityKit: a new tool for create augmented reality apps for iOS more easily. With this kit, Apple seeks to allow developers to get into augmented reality even without having previously essential 3D application development skills.



ReaityKit offers camera effects, animations, physics engine and much more. Thus, developers will be able to create augmented reality experiences without needing to master traditional game engines like Unity or Unreal Engine.

Apple also claims that its engine allows a "photo-realistic" rendering. Visual effects are now added to virtual objects to give the illusion that they are directly captured by the camera.

Physical elements like environment reflection, ground shadows, the “noise” of the camera, the motion blur will now be added to make the fusion between virtual content and reality totally believable.

This new kit based on the Swift API. It also offers a network solution to allow the creation of shared AR experiences on iOS.

Apple Reality Composer: a library of models and 3D animations

Un second tool called Reality Composer was also presented. It is a library of models and 3D animations allowing developers to get started in augmented reality without having to create their own models. A “drag and drop” interface will simplify the creation of AR experiences as much as possible.



Augmented reality experiences created with Reality Composer can be integrated with applications using Xcode, or can be exported with AR QuickLook. In addition to its library of objects, the tool will also allow importing 3D files in USDZ format.


With these different tools, Apple counts open up the development of augmented reality applications to everyone. This will increase the number of existing AR applications, and therefore increase the interest of this technology and vary the use cases of this technology.


In addition, by offering its own engine and asset store, Apple hopes take AR application developers under his wing and enjoy the economic spinoffs thereafter. Thus, the Apple seems to have the ambition to occupy the same role as Unity or Epic Games with Unreal Engine for virtual reality ...



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