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Apple Is Bringing Augmented Reality To The iPhone

The new developer kit follows suggestions from Apple CEO Tim Cook that augmented reality is going to be "huge."

Posted on June 5, 2017, at 3:01 p.m. ET

From Microsoft to Facebook, some of the biggest companies in tech have pushed hard into augmented reality.

Now Apple is set to join them.

At its annual World Wide Developers’ Conference today, Apple announced ARKit, a new platform of development tools that will let people who make apps for iOS integrate augmented reality into their products.

Like other AR tech, AR Kit will allow developers to superimpose digital images and videos on top of a real-time camera feed. Think virtual furniture placed in your home to see how it looks, or much more lifelike Pokemon jumping up and down in Pokemon Go.

The announcement follows Apple CEO Tim Cook's comments earlier this year (and before) about augmented reality earlier this year, when he told the Independent (UK), "I regard it as a big idea like the smartphone...I think AR is that big. It's huge. I get excited because of the things that could be done that could improve a lot of lives and be entertaining."

On stage at WWDC, Apple showed off several potential uses for ARKit, including an ornate real-time CGI demo superimposed in real time on a table.

"We’ve had some third parties in to take a look at ARKit," said Apple Senior Vice President of Software Engineering Craig Federighi, "and they are totally excited and we are just blown away by what they’ve been able to accomplish."

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