11/2/2017 8:32:59 AM
Using ARKit to provide a mobile content experience
Mobile AR Experience,iOS ARKit,Mobile AR Apps
App Developer Magazine

Using ARKit to provide a mobile content experience

Roman Taranov Roman Taranov in Augmented Reality Thursday, November 2, 2017

Why using ARKit to create mobile AR apps and contents with the new iOS 11 features is going to put AR in the fastlane.

With the launch of iOS 11 came a variety of new features - the most prominent being ARKit. As defined by Apple, "The basic requirement for any AR (Augmented Reality) experience - and the defining feature of ARKit - is the ability to create and track a correspondence between the real-world space the user inhabits and a virtual space where you can model visual content." Augmented reality, where the virtual world overlays the real world, is believed to be a major feature that will enhance the mobile phone, bringing it to the mass market, and greatly influencing the development of future mobile content.

Digi-Capital predicts that by 2021 mobile AR will drive a $108B market - that is most likely why Apple jumped on the opportunity to debut AR via ARKit. With such a large market enthusiasm, ARKit will inevitably change the face of mobile content and encourage more companies to emerge on the tech scene, existing solely for that purpose - to create a brand new type of mobile experience that will better engage users, through AR, with an unprecedented immersive dimension.

Animoji is an example of mobile content that Apple rolled out with the new iPhone in September. The animoji are animals and other emojis that enable users to create an emoji message that mirrors their own expressions and tones. For instance, users can put their face on a giant panda emoji that mimics their own facial movements and voice. Aside from just being a fun feature, this new feature introduces an AR component that could be used by advertisers, encouraging brands to use animoji in their own marketing - utilizing the emojis that fit their brand.

Some additional mobile content that has come out with the Apple announcement is the IKEA AR app that allows users to digitally place IKEA furniture in their homes so users can get a first-hand glance at what the furniture would actually look like before making a purchase. Other mobile AR content that is available today includes a dragon that can follow users around, an augmented reality rendition of Eric Carle's "Very Hungry Caterpillar," and multiple AR games. This is just the beginning of the development of AR content via ARKit, and the expectations for a far more sophisticated and engaging experience are high.

The AR experience will add a new layer of a real-life experience into the already-personal experience that mobile brings, possibly becoming one of recent years' most significant technological advancements in advertising. Julie Shumaker, VP of advertiser solutions at Unity Technologies, told Quartz: "AR represents the most addressable audience of any emerging platform that's started out of the gate. It's really a game-changer in the consumer's opportunity to engage in their real environment with the product or service."

AR could essentially add a new dimension to any real-life experience. Think about concert-goers being able to purchase their favorite artist's outfits just by pointing their phones at them, movie-goers buying merchandise as they point their devices at the screen. The possibilities are endless, and in initial trials conversion rates were enormously higher.

We are in an age where static advertising that was once effective is no longer engaging to users. Attention spans are short, users are spoiled by over-the-top imagery, games are as real-life-looking as ever. Immersive technology that provides users with an "experience" is just what users are now demanding, and advertisers must respond. Long gone are the days of one- or two-dimensional ads; this is native advertising that fits not into one's content but rather one's experience.

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