Good news for mobile gamers who have a hard time disconnecting from their phones and rejoining the “real world”: the soon-to-be-released new iPhones will let you multitask by allowing for some amazing augmented reality gaming.
Following the massive early success of Pokémon Go, it hardly comes as a surprise that Apple engineers were certain to make augmented reality gaming capacity a priority for its next generation of phones. At Apple’s special event on Tuesday, the company announced it plans on doing so with ARKit, an augmented reality toolkit for app developers, improved cameras, and an advanced bionic processing chip.
“iPhone 8 is incredible for shooting photo and video but there’s a third use of the camera that’s going to become increasingly important in our mobile devices, and that’s augmented reality,” said Apple exec Phil Schiller. “This is an incredible area for us to advance in.”
Schiller noted that the iPhone 8, 8S, and X, will be the first smartphone designed specifically for accommodating AR.
To demonstrate the way the augmented reality will work in practice, Apple showed work that developers have been doing to make use of this tech within their apps. In addition to an impressive demo of how the stargazing app Sky Guide will let you map out the constellations on the actual sky in realtime, Apple previewed a couple of games.
One example shown at the event was the Warhammer 40k Free Blade: using the “photo mode,” players can bring the action in the real world through augmented reality.
Another game developer, Directive Games, actually took to the Apple stage to show how one of the first competitive multi-player games designed to be played entirely in augmented reality will work.
“Apple [has] changed gaming forever,” said Atli Mar, CEO of the company. “Since players are able to view the game from any angle, our content has to be incredibly detailed.”
He demonstrated some gameplay, showing how real-world views enable users to move in close for more a immersive experience.
In addition to bringing mobile games into the real world, Schiller also showed how ARKit will help bring real world games into the mobile realm as well.
For instance, the “At Bat” app created by Major League baseball will give users the ability to hold up their iPhones to see realtime player information and stats overlaid.
Safe to say, gaming will never be the same.