Opinion: The Potential of a New Apple ARKit Ecosystem
Tomorrow is the big Apple WWDC event, and as tradition goes, I ponder the potential of what may be released in advance.
Fans are talking about Apple allowing users the ability to use their Animoji technology to talk to each other. I guess that they will incorporate avatars into iCloud accounts by allowing for customizable creatures. This will open the door for really grand things. Say these avatars can be seen in AR and controlled with a joystick or even giving given the ability to take on 3D characteristics from the users actual face. This would be the ultimate and much-needed consumer introduction to the avatar concept in my opinion.
The issue with Facebook and their VR/AR offerings is that they are establishing an app ecosystem from the ground up. Even if Facebook is the most extensive social network in the world the advantage Apple has is that they have a robust app ecosystem and large developer community to build upon already. Apple may be slowly transitioning users to the full AR experience by incorporating key developer features into iOS “Kits.” With this approach, Apple establishes a market desire and apps for potential future hardware such as glasses.
In my opinion the critical features needed for a robust AR ecosystem are; social network (which they already have in iCloud), Multiplayer persistence, (which they have supposedly solved via a local private peer to peer network approach), and last but potentially down the line is a world space shell with a world space AR UI kit. This could be iOS cardboard like app for now that allows for apps within a camera-enabled mini OS.
If Apple can do this, they will have a severe advantage over their competitors. These features should be within reach and would open the door for a lot of excitement in the development community. That would support rumors as to why Apple is focusing on software only at this event.