Apple AR: ARKit Bestows iOS Apps Thyng & Holo with Ability to Stick Digital Things Anywhere

ARKit Bestows iOS Apps Thyng & Holo with Ability to Stick Digital Things Anywhere

One of the byproducts of the success of Pokémon Go was the viral images that made the rounds on social media of people putting Pikachus, Charmanders, and their brethren in compromising positions. Snapchat has a similar claim to fame, most recently with the inexplicable popularity of the dancing hotdog.

Two existing AR apps, Thyng and Holo, will have ARKit updates ready for the launch of iOS 11, giving the masses even more ways to stick things where they don't belong.

As it currently exists in the App Store, Thyng (as well as Google Play) works in much the same way that Blippar and Zappar do: scan a product with the app, and an AR animation appears.

Image by Thyng/YouTube

With ARKit, though, Thyng 4.0 will offer users a much broader digital playground. A demonstration video shows off the ability to place their own photos and videos, as well as 3D animations from brands, in the real world.

(It should be noted that one of the videos in the demo is of the Alabama Crimson Tide's victory over the Florida Gators in last year's SEC Championship Game, which this writer had the privilege of witnessing firsthand. I digress, but before I do…Roll Tide.)

Image by Thyng/YouTube

In another demo, Thyng showed off its ability to place and play several videos from the iPhone launch into the app's camera view.

Meanwhile, Holo, by developer 8i, also caters to brands. Rather than offering AR experiences at point of purchase, it enables users to place holograms in real world environments, such as the titular character from Spiderman Homecoming.

Initially released for iOS and Android over the summer, users can also choose from public figures, such as astronaut Buzz Aldrin, actor Jon Hamm, as well as animals and original characters.

Holograms placed with the beta Holo app, updated to support ARKit. Image by Tommy Palladino/Next Reality

I had the opportunity to preview a beta version of the updated app running ARKit. While I'll abide by the request to hold off on reviewing it, I can note that ARKit has enabled the developers to give users the ability to walk around their holograms. The app also gains new multi-touch commands, namely tap to move it to a new position, double-tap to toggle between life-size and fit-to-screen, and two-finger touch to rotate.

These won't be the first apps that offer this experience, but, as long as consumers enjoy putting silly stuff in their living rooms and taking pictures with it, then there will always be room for more.

Post was updated to correct details of Holo's ARKit features.

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