When Apple announced ARKit as part of iOS 11 during the 2017 WWDC event, one of the first potential applications that no doubt sprang to mind for many of us was Pokemon.
The game, created by Niantic and The Pokemon Company, will now receive an update that takes advantage of that augmented reality framework to give gamers their most realistic, lifelike experience of catching a Pokemon yet.
Niantic is calling the feature “AR+” and it will be available to gamers who are using an iPhone 6 or later device that is also running iOS 11. These requirements are the basic Apple ARKit hardware and software requirements, so no huge surprises there.
This is our first step toward making AR capabilities in Pokémon GO even more awesome, opening up the framework for greater AR experiences in the future. As you explore your local neighborhoods, remember to share your AR+ photos of your encounters on social media with the hashtag #PokemonGOarplus. And be sure to always stay aware of your surroundings and make sure you’re safe while in AR+ mode. We’d love to see all of your new adventures as they unfold.
The addition of ARKit support allows for things like improved awareness, meaning that “Pokémon will run away if they become aware of the Trainers getting close.” Thanks to ARKit, gamers will also notice that Pokemon are now fixed to a set point in space, meaning that when they walk up to one they will see how they would look if they were in the real world and, importantly, at scale. This is the first time such a feature has been available to gamers, and “brings us one step closer to truly realizing Pokémon the way they are supposed to be represented in the real world.”
The updated Pokemon GO app can now be downloaded for free from the App Store, ARKit support and all.
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