iOS 11 introduced ARKit, a new framework for developers designed to shorten development times in terms of building augmented reality experiences for iPhone and iPad.
Because ARKit does most of the heavy lifting in terms of plane detection, super accurate tracking, lighting estimation and more, apps powered by it are unsupported on older devices.
Will your iPhone or iPad support ARKit-driven augmented reality experiences?
According to Apple’s official ARKit resources for developers, ARKit requires high-performance hardware—apps built on it run on the Apple A9 and A10 processors.
The following devices use these processors:
- iPhone SE
- iPhone 6s
- iPhone 6s Plus
- iPhone 7
- iPhone 7 Plus
- 9.7-inch iPad (2017 model)
- 10.5-inch iPad Pro
- 12.9-inch iPad Pro (2017 model)
- 9.7-inch iPad Pro (2016 model)
- 12.9-inch iPad Pro (2016 model)
“These processors deliver breakthrough performance that enables fast scene understanding and lets you build detailed and compelling virtual content on top of real-world scenes,” notes the company.
If you own one of the aforementioned supported devices, you can run ARKit-powered apps on your iPhone and iPad. If not, you’re out of luck unless you buy a supported iOS device.
ARKit does its magic by analyzing the scene presented by the camera view.
It also uses data from onboard sensors. Fusing live camera sensor data with CoreMotion data allows sophisticated algorithms to detect horizontal planes in a room like tables and floors.
ARKit can also track and place objects on smaller feature points and estimate the total amount of light available in a scene to apply the correct amount of lighting to virtual objects.