For those of us watching the latest 3D announcements live during Apple’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference (WWDC22), the news was underwhelming, and nothing 3D lidar based, or 3D-related made the cut to be featured in the keynote. But some additional announcements – centered around ARKit and announced later in the day – have turned some heads.
From an article in Geo Week News by Carla Lauter.
ARKit is Apple’s development platform that’s a playground for augmented reality. The addition of lidar to phones and iPads was touted to improve AR applications, by being able to ‘sense’ the environment more accurately, to facilitate AR object placement. ARKit leverages iOS device cameras, sensors (including lidar) and internal inertial sensors to determine the position of the device, which is useful when creating AR content and apps.
While Apple has yet to really lean in to take full advantage of the onboard lidar, some app makers have already taken the leap, developing 3D scanning applications that leverage ARKit to get better, more accurate data than photogrammetry can provide.
But what’s new about this week’s announcement is that Apple has now launched RoomPlan, a new Swift API that uses the camera and lidar scanner on iOS devices to quickly and elegantly create a 3D floor plan layout of any room, even taking into account furniture present. Essentially, they’ve created a capability for using an iPad to create something pretty close to a 3D BIM model in just a few minutes.
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