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Apple's acquisition plan shows its readiness to elevate AR experience to the next level

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According to aMacRumor report and regulatory filings with the UK government, Apple may have quietly acquired UK-based motion capture firm IKinema. Citing an industry insider,MacRumors maintains that IKinema customers been without an update for weeks. Apple’s vision for the software has been clear from the start : we’re delivering the biggest AR platform in the world,Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior VP Software Engineering, said at WWDC 2017.Apple set out to provide developers the tools they needed to build, detailed and compelling virtual content on top of real-world scenes for interactive gaming, immersive shopping experiences, industrial design and more. Creating such worlds takes horsepower, of course. Of course, when it comes to machines equipped with such horsepower, Apple already has the tool: its soon-to-launch Mac Pro. These should carry more than enough power for the creation of AR environments. With a platform in place, an army of developers equipped with tools for the implementation of AR in apps, and partnerships across the space, it's no surprise that Apple wants to make the creation of such experiences as easy as possible even while making the end user experience more convincingly realistic. Samsung took the same basic idea to a different level at its Galaxy Unpacked event in August.

Yet, the company has always been careful to situate AR as a mobile technology, people peeking through iPhones or iPads to shop or play with Legos, or even experience public art installations. Finding this kind of data, even hidden deep within OS developer files, marks an uncharacteristic transparency from Apple—as though the company is planning something sooner rather than later. It points to the headset being a much more passive display accessory for iPhone than a device with an OS of its own.

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Article Summary
According to aMacRumor report and regulatory filings with the UK government, Apple may have quietly acquired UK-based motion capture firm IKinema. Thereport has thus far gone unsubstantiated by both companies, however a number of filings with the UK government shows that Apple’s director of corporate law, Peter Denwood, has been recently appointed the director of IKinema, listing Apple’s HQ address. Citing an industry insider,MacRumors maintains that IKinema customers been without an update for weeks.
Article Summary
ByJonny Evans , Computerworld |Appleholic, (noun), pl-hlk: An imaginative person who thinks about what Apple is doing, why and where it is going. In this case, Apple appears to have invested in an industry tool that seemed to have plenty of adoption among game and AR experience developers. Apple’s vision for the software has beenclear from the start : We’re delivering the biggest AR platform in the world,Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior VP Software Engineering, said at WWDC 2017.Apple set out to provide developers the tools they needed to build, detailed and compelling virtual content on top of real-world scenes for interactive gaming, immersive shopping experiences, industrial design and more. Apple has improved ARKit every year since launch. Put simply, Apple’s purchase of the obscure UK graphics company suggests it seeks to deliver an end-to-end solution for the creation, distribution and consumption of AR experiences.
Article Summary
Apple’s ARKit already has many of the fundamentals in place to help developers create augmented reality experiences — this year’s release of ARKit 3 added RealityKit and Reality Composer tools focused on easing the process of adding virtual objects and environments to real world spaces. The company’s flagship RunTime software enables easy but realistic kinematic simulations of the entire human body, including locomotion and other procedural animations, openly winning deals with Google, Microsoft, and numerous game studios. Bringing realistic human motion to ARKit and a wide variety of Apple AR-capable platforms makes the most sense, and there’s a particularly interesting set of AR applications that Apple could target: AR avatars. Samsung took the same basic idea to a different level at its Galaxy Unpacked event in August. At the time, the company said that the technology would be used for everything from digital replicas of real humans to virtual characters, virtual assistants, and VTubers (virtual YouTubers).
Article Summary
Apple confirms it purchased a company that makes virtual reality and motion capture.software. This software developer’s website says “iKinema leads in animation software for motion capture, games and virtual reality.
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With all the phone and watch and TV and game and chip and other chip news coming out of Apple’s big event, it was easy to forget the company’s longest-running background process: an augmented-reality wearable. The build also included an app called StarTester to accomplish exactly that. Yet, the company has always been careful to situate AR as a mobile technology, people peeking through iPhones or iPads to shop or play with Legos, or even experience public art installations. Finding this kind of data, even hidden deep within OS developer files, marks an uncharacteristic transparency from Apple—as though the company is planning something sooner rather than later. It points to the headset being a much more passive display accessory for iPhone than a device with an OS of its own. A third codename, Garta, seems to refer to a testing mode rather than a specific device.) Fifty-eight degrees doesn’t sound like much compared to an Oculus Rift, but compared to an nreal Light, which is 52 degrees, it’s already pretty competitive,” says JC Kuang, an analyst with AR/VR market intelligence firm VRS. “ Mike Boland, chief analyst at ARtillery Intelligence, which tracks the augmented-reality mark, calls such a product a “notification layer,” and posits it as an introductory device of sorts—one that acts as a bridge between the mobile AR of today and a more powerful headset that could ultimately replace the smartphone. “ Two acquisitions Apple has made in recent years also suggest how the company might get there. Kuang traces the current StarBoard testing mode to the 2017 acquisition of a company called Vrvana. But the StarBoard stuff presents exactly that: a Google Cardboard sort of functionality for iPhones. But that doesn’t solve the question of what comes after the phone—and Boland sees AR as an integral part of any “succession plan” for Apple.