When Apple announced ARKit alongside iOS 11 during the opening WWDC keynote earlier this year, few really gave it the credit that we now know it most definitely deserved.

Demonstrated on-stage by turning a table top into an in-game battle and moving a cup around looked impressive enough at the time, but it is the number of concept apps that developers have created since that have really given us a taste of what can be achieved with little more than an iPhone. The latest of those comes from developer Duncan Walker, who has released a video showing robots walking through the streets of London.

If that sounds terrifying, it’s because it is and while the video is downsampled for the benefit of Twitter, there is no denying the quality of what was created. According to Walker, he created the robots themselves in Unity3D and then filmed the footage of London using his iPhone 7. He then used ARKit to put the two together and the result is, well, impressive to say the very least.

The final effect is frankly nothing short of impressive. In fact, the rendered models appear to be authentic enough to pass as natural human movement: The shaky hand-held camera dynamics coincide almost perfectly with the movement of the robots […] While professionals might be able to spot some inconsistencies in light sources, this is hardly a nuisance to the untrained eye.

While this gives us an idea of just the kind of thing ARKit is capable of, it also shows that the technology could be used in ways that we may not have previously considered. The thought of budding film makers being able to create movies, or at least shorts using their iPhone and ARKit is a wonderful one and while iPhones have been used this way for years, the new level of realism afforded by ARKit could kick things up a notch. We have seen ARKit used for measuring things and for street-level navigation, but the world of augmented reality is much, much bigger than that.

(Source: Duncan Walker [Twitter])

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