Apple recently announced that it would bring a revolutionary addition to AR market which will transform it. With the release of developer framework specifically for Augmented Reality (AR) by Apple, the ARKit, the transformation is already there.
To help you guide through developing a comprehensive, rich-feature app, it is beyond the scope our article. However, we can explain how to develop AR apps for iOS devices using 3D AR/VR platform using ARKit. We will explain how AR point cloud which is superimposed over different objects which you can easily view with any of your Apple devices.
To begin with Augmented Reality app development in iOS, it is essential to learn the powerful features of ARKit. But first, you need to make few changes to your iOS device and computer. It also requires making few upgrades before you can start exploring ARKit. In this article, we also present various steps to take to make your iOS mobile device and computer ready.
We will explain how to create AR apps for your iPhone and iPad but also guide you through how to develop an app with ARKit features.
So, let’s get started with ARKit.
In order to get started with building AR app for Apple, you require a Mac computer. Installation of macOS 10.13 Beta is required on your Mac, and you also require the installation of iOS 11 Beta on your iOS mobile device. XCode 9 Beta 2 is also needed by Unity which you will utilize to perform tasks in ARKit.
Also, you will require an iOS device which supports ARKit in order to see your AR app on your iPhone or iPad.
Now, we start with developing ARKit AR app for Apple devices.
Once you have done all the installation and made necessary changes to your iOS device, you are ready for iPhone app development of AR app and you need to follow the below mentioned steps to create point cloud viewer.
1. Unity icon is located on the dock. Click it.
2. As welcome screen comes, go to the right top corner of the appeared box and click New.
3. Go to Project Name and then enter a name for your project like Test ARKit App.
4. If you want, you can also change the project’s default location or leave it as it is.
5. After entering project name, click on the button named Create project.
6. In the Project window, you will see finder window associated with “unity-arkit-plugin.unitypackage”. Pull it
7. Now, unity-arkit-plugin.unitypackage named file will appear. Double-click it. It will take only few seconds for it to unpack.
8. When the above file is unpacked, you will see window named Import Unity Package. All the files will be included in it. Now, an Import button will appear at the box’s bottom. Click on it.
9. Now go to UnityARKitScene file present in the Project window and double-click it.
10. Now click File and then click Build Settings from the Project window menu. Build Settings window will open which we require for the next step.
11. Click iOS present under Platform from the Build Settings menu items.
12. On the box’s left bottom corner, you will see button named Switch Platform. Click it.
13. Now click on the button named Add Open Scenes.
14. You will see Player Settings button. Click it.
15. You will find a label named Camera Usage Description right under the tab named Inspector. Type “camera use” in the box which appears right of the label. If you don’t enter a value then your app can crash.
16. Now revisit Build Settings window. You will see Build button. Click on it.
17. After this a box named Save As will appear which will ask you where you wish to save the project. Type “App” and then click the Save button.
18. It will take few seconds for Unity to build the project. After completion, a Finder window will open. Go to the App folder and Double-click on it.
19. You will see file named Unity-iPhone.xcodeproj. Double-click on it.
20. Now a window showing the Identity, Signing as well as Deployment information of the project will appear.
21. In Signing labelled section, g to the Team drop-down box and click it. Now select the developer account. This account is created by you after Unity sign up.
22. Now plug your iOS device which is plugged into your Mac computer.
23. At the screen’s top left portion you will find Play button. Click on it.
24. Now your project will be compiled by Unity.
25. Now bring any stationary object into your device screen’s view using your phone camera. This will show point clouds duly superimposed in AR all across the object. This means that your app is working fine.
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With this, you have successfully built your first AR app by Apple ARKit which is currently among the most powerful AR tools present in the market. If you need to develop more sophisticated Augmented Reality app, then you can always hire iPhone app developer who has experience in developing such apps. With this, we end our article on how to develop Augmented Reality app using ARKit.