Apple reveals ARKit 3 with RealityKit and Reality Composer

Apple has used the last two WWDCs as opportunities to point out off its latest and greatest augmented reality innovations, the ARKit and ARKit 2.0 software development kits for iOS, together with annual hands-on demos. This year, it’s unsurprisingly showing off new augmented reality initiatives including ARKit 3, RealityKit, and Reality Composer, a group of tools to create AR development easier.

ARKit 3 adds support for 2 major features: automatic real-time occlusion of individuals viewed by the host device’s camera, and real-time motion capture with the camera. Face tracking now supports up to a few people at a time when viewed by the front-facing TrueDepth cameras on iPhone X/XR/XS devices and iPad Pros, and developers can simultaneously access both face and world tracking on the front and back cameras directly. Live collaborative sessions are supported between multiple people, employing a shared world map.

RealityKit could be a high-level framework to enable developers to simply blend virtual objects with planet environments, automatically scaled to perform properly on multiple Apple devices, and handle the networking demands of shared AR experiences. It supports photorealistic rendering, new environmental and camera effects, and extra animation, physics, and audio effects. It natively integrates with ARKit, and includes a Swift API.

Reality Composer lets developers build interactive scenes with full AR support, and includes many virtual objects, with the power to import and customize USDZ files. Virtual objects within scenes is animated and made tuned in to taps, proximity, and other triggers. Developers are ready to run Reality Composer both in XCode and as an iOS app.

Additionally, Mojang representatives came informed stage to demonstrate Minecraft Earth, an AR-augmented version of Minecraft that appears very similar to HoloLens demonstrations Microsoft offered several years ago. It’s effectively Minecraft on a surface of your choice, like an oversized table, with the power to interact somewhat with people. Minecraft Earth is seemingly coming this summer, which might be earlier than the expected release date for ARKit 3, RealityKit, and Reality Composer.