Here’s the fascinating AR demo from Director Peter Jackson’s AR studio Wingnut. Even though we’re still waiting for inexpensive AR glasses, you can see where home entertainment – and a segment of the film industry – is headed.
You’ll never look at a blank tabletop the same way again.
Wingnut’s AR demo
According to BBC:
Wingnut AR, the studio started by Lord of the Rings film director Sir Peter Jackson has revealed its first augmented reality demo.
While Google and Microsoft have been working with the technology for several years, this is the first time that Apple has been involved.
The company gave Wingnut AR special access to its ARKit – an augmented reality developer kit – to create it.
Wingnut first demoed the game last month at Apple’s WWDC 2017 event. While they’re using an advanced version of Apple’s ARKit, you’ll have access to Apple’s augmented reality platform in iOS11 and the next version of the iPhone this fall. Tim Cook may have his reservations about virtual reality, but not AR.
It uses what Apple terms Visual Inertial Odometry – a combination of data from the camera and inertial sensors – to track the motion of a mobile device relative to its surroundings.
According to Apple, the system requires no calibration, and can automatically identify flat planes like floors and tables, as well as tracking smaller objects.
Working “out of the box” gives it an advantage over Google’s Tango which has seen only limited Smartphone integration. Even more, Apple’s billion devices in the market are mostly all up to date on their OS – Android lags woefully behind in this respect.
While ARKit is not yet supported by current builds of Unreal Engine and Unity game engines, it will be in the future.
Storytelling on your tabletop
There’s tremendous potential here for new forms of storytelling and home entertainment. Not to mention education. It’s hard to get more personal than having the story on your kitchen table.
And with Peter Jackson involved, we wouldn’t be surprised to see a future segment of Lord of the Rings debut in your living room.
Emory Craig is a writer, speaker, and VR consultant with extensive experience in art, new media, and higher education. He speaks at global conferences on innovation, education, and ethical technology in the future. He has published widely and worked with the US Agency for International Development, the United Nations, and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Living at the intersection of learning, games, and immersive storytelling, he is fascinated by AI-based avatars, digital twins, and the ethical implications of blurring the boundaries between the real and the virtual.