Apple takes augmented-reality gaming to the 'next level' with Lego and slingshot apps

AppleApple’s Lego augmented reality demo.
  • Apple hopes to take augmented-reality gaming to the “next level” with multiplayer apps.
  • The company used its developer’s conference to showcase Lego and slingshot games, built using its new and improved AR building software ARKit 2.
  • The Lego game allows you to create virtual worlds around your real-life Lego builds.

Apple hit the augmented-reality button hard at its developer’s conference on Monday. On top of introducing the new AR app Measure, which acts as a kind of virtual measuring tape, it showcased the “next level” of AR gaming.

Apple showed off its new and improved AR building software ARKit 2 with a demo from Lego during the keynote address. Lego Director of Innovation Martin Sanders got up to demonstrate the game at the Worldwide Developer’s Conference.

You start off with a regular, physical Lego building, but point the iOS camera at it and the AR makes it springs into life. You’re able to build a virtual world around it, complete with characters, buildings, and the occasional disaster.

Arkit 2 lego gameAppleSanders demonstrated the lego game during his WWDC presentation.

Not only this, but you are able to do so with the help of a friend. Multiplayer AR has been a tough nut to crack, but the demo showed that in “Lego AR City” two users are able to operate within the same virtual space.

“It seems like such a simple feature,” Sanders told TechCrunch, “but to create together is the next level I think. It really turns a corner from a creative perspective.”

Apple showcased these same multiplayer capabilities offstage with another app developed on ARKit 2 called SwiftShot. The game pits two teams of two against each other in competitive slingshotting, with each team trying to knock down virtual pillars belonging to their opponents.

The Verge played with the app at WWDC:

If Apple’s new ARKit 2 really delivers on what it promises with fully functional multiplayer AR games, it could hold really exciting possibilities for gaming in the future. Plus, it could mean fewer excruciating Lego bricks to step on.

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