Recently we reported that Apple will be announcing ARKit 2.0 at its WWDC event, starting on June 4. The updated AR platform is said to support multiplayer AR games, and many other features. Now, there are rumors of Apple introducing tools that will let two iPhone users share the same augmented reality experience on their smartphones. The important thing to note here is that Apple is doing this while also addressing the privacy concerns around it.
Both Apple and Google have been working on shared augmented reality for some time now. This feature allows two people to see and interact with the same virtual object in the same space, but through their respective smartphones. However, enabling this feature also raises a privacy issue, as it requires people to scan their environment (which in most cases will be a home or personal space) and share it online to cloud servers, in order to be downloaded by the second person.
Google’s multiplayer AR platform called Cloud Anchors works in the same way. Its system records all the data shared by the user on a cloud server. Though the company claims to delete the data in seven days, it still doesn’t raise confidence. Apple seems to understand this problem and is hence working on a different system all together. Apple’s AR sharing platform is designed to work from phone-to-phone directly, eliminating the need of sharing any details to cloud servers, making it much safer to use.
Watch: ARKit Ikea App Demo
However, there are other concerns around the technology that haven’t been addressed yet. Adapting to a phone-to-phone AR platform can be bit taxing on the devices, bringing in a lot of technical limitations. We don’t know how Apple plans on tackling that problem. We’re also not sure if the platform will be limited to only two devices or more. Plenty of details still need to be unveiled. Hopefully we’ll be getting them soon at tonight during the WWDC 2018 keynote.