Apple announced that it’s partnering with computer animation studio Pixar to boost the company’s augmented reality initiative, the company announced Monday during its annual WWDC conference for app developers.
“In iOS 12, we wanted to make an easy way to experience AR across the [eco]system, and to do that we got together with some of the greatest minds in 3D, at Pixar,” Apple senior vice president Craig Federighi said.
Together, Apple and Pixar developed a new file format for AR called “USDZ.” It’s a compact and simple format that’s designed to let people share AR content “while retaining great 3D graphics and even animations.” The USDZ format is addressing the typically large storage size of AR content, which can make it harder to share information easily and quickly.
Companies like Adobe are adopting the USDZ format to work with its Creative Cloud platform, which includes apps like Photoshop and Dimension.
Once iOS 12 is released in the fall, AR content can be shared in the USDZ format in apps like Safari, Messages, and Mail, and can be managed in the Files app. It can also help bring typically static things like a news article to life:
Federighi also announced Apple’s latest version of its AR platform, called ARKit 2.
ARKit 2 will offer improved face tracking, more realistic rendering, support for 3D object detection, and the ability to start an AR experience based on a real-world physical object or space. ARKit 2 will also support shared experiences, where two or more people can play AR games together.
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