Blog: ARKit 3 Explained

In a few weeks Apple will release IOS 13. Apples new version of its popular operation system also includes ARKit 3. Us as AR developers are really excited about version three of the AR sdk. Let’s find out why!

What’s ARKit?

First, lets recap on what ARKit actually is. Just 3 years ago Apple released IOS 11 that included the first version of ARKit. ARKit is an SDK designed to transform AR apps from simple 2D overlays, to complex applications. It puts 3D object in the real world using the phones sensor, camera and clever analytics. ARKit makes sure any object is naturally placed in the world, instead of giving you a simple overlay. It’s also designed to cut down on AR development time and reduces the amount of CPU power necessary to run AR apps.

ARKit 3

IOS 13 will ship with ARKit 3 support in the fall. ARKit 3 has two major changes: people occlusion and motion capture. Apple also released Realitykit and Reality composer, tools to help developers produces AR experiences faster and easier. To use all of version 3’s features you will need a device with a A12 chip. So, any iPhone or iPad made in 2018 or later is compatible.

ARKit 3 in action

People Occlusion

This feature lets people walk around in the AR app in realtime. Before people used to glitch through objects appear like ghosts. Now, the phone will recognize other people and project things behind them, making the experience more realistic. This feature also enables more realistic effects to take place in the application. According to apple green screen like effects

Multi user AR experience

Motion capture

Motion capture enables the possibility to capture real human movement. ARKit 3 understands body movement as a series of bones and joints. Movement you capture is usable as input for your AR experience. 3D characters can take on you posture and distinct movement. Most games use special capture suits to capture body movement. Now an iPhone can do pretty advanced motion capture.

The rest

Besides people occlusion and motion capture ARKit 3 has more great features. Version 3 should be better at determining the sizes of real objects. This too should make AR more realistic. Apple showcased these features with Microsoft’s new Minecraft AR game. In short, with IOS 13 you can play Minecraft in the real world. A bit like Pokémon Go, but more complex. Part of the game is also playable with a friend.

New developer tools

Apple is also releasing some new developers’ tools. Realitykit is a framework designed so 3D object automatically scales to the right size, relative to the environment you’re in. You can also test AR apps on multiple devices at ones. Apples new Reality composer lets developers build interactive AR scenes. This tool has a huge library of 3D models, animations and effects.


Apples has set the next step in making AR the leading platform for interactive media. New feature like people occlusion will help develop the platform even more. We can’t wait to see what other developers will do with ARKit 3.

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