One of the big promises with iOS 11 is ARKit. This new framework makes it much easier to look at virtual objects in the real world using augmented reality. Sketchfab has been building the biggest 3D model sharing platform, a sort of YouTube for 3D models. That’s why today’s iOS update turns Sketchfab into a thorough augmented reality app.
This implementation isn’t perfect just yet as the company is using a web view on top of the real world. That’s why there might be some lag. You’ll need to install iOS 11 first.
But the fact that you can pick any object in Sketchfab’s extensive library turns the app into a wow generator. The company now offers 2 million 3D objects, so there are plenty of options.
When you’re browsing a model in the app, there’s now an AR button at the top of the screen. This button activates your camera. You then need to point your iPhone or iPad at a flat surface and tap on the screen. The 3D model appears in the middle of the real world.
You can make this object bigger or smaller by pinching with your fingers. In future versions, content creators will be able to define a default scale so that you don’t end up with a giant scary crab in your living room. You can also rotate the object with your fingers.
Once you’re done positioning the model, you can move around the object, get closer and look at details. It will feel like the model is right here in the room with the rest of the real world.
Google also announced ARCore, the company’s answer to ARKit. Sketchfab says that it plans to support ARCore in its Android app as well.