Apple AR: Alexa Plays Nice with ARKit in Demo

Alexa Plays Nice with ARKit in Demo

A developer has previewed a pair of potential applications built on ARKit that can be triggered by Alexa, the resident voice assistant of the Amazon Echo.

The demos come courtesy Scott Finkelstein, manager of web technologies at Adelphi University. In the first video, Finkelstein asks Alexa to launch "augmented weather systems," and then asks her to "make it rain." Alexa complies, resulting in a rain animation on the iPhone's camera view.

(1) Alexa, control the weather, (2) Alexa, make that varmint dance. Images by Scott Finkelstein/Twitter (1, 2)

In the second video, Alexa plays "Misirlou" by Dick Dale and His Del-Tones, the de facto theme for Pulp Fiction, and an animated rabbit, appropriately named Jackrabbit Slim, starts to dance. And, just like a little Fonzi, she's cool about making it all stop.

While one could assume that the Amazon-Apple device teamwork was made possible by IFTTT, Finkelstein told Next Reality that he used an Alexa skill that sends a yes/no flag to a PHP script on his own server. In turn, the app is programmed to check the script for changes in the flag value, and then it responds in kind with the designated ARKit action.

As one observer pointed out, developers can create a similar experience with SiriKit for voice commands. However, as these videos show, ARKit (with a presumed assist from IFTTT) can be flexible to voice assistant preference.

"As much as I love Apple, I find myself using Alexa more than I use Siri when I'm at home. Maybe that will change with HomePod," said Finkelstein in reply.

The creative mind runs rampant with possibilities presented by ARKit combined with any voice assistant. What kind of experiences would you like to see? Tell us in the comments below.

Cover image via Scott Finkelstein/Twitter

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