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Apple Enters the AR World and What This Means for Events

Apple Enters the AR World and What This Means for Events

With the roll out of iOS 11 this month, a new and unexpected feature is integrated into the operating system:  the ARKit.  Today’s blog will focus on the aspects of this announcement and how you may be able to use Augmented Realtiy (AR) in upcoming events.

What is an ARKit?

This framework will allow developers to easily create AR experiences for iPhones and iPads that run iOS 11. This is a new twist to AR; allowing developers to creatively tap into SceneKit and SpriteKit within iOS. By integrating the AR functionality into the operating system, applications will be developed faster and have much more functionality than before. The ARKit apps on the market today, were developed in 7-10 weeks which is a very short development cycle.

How it May Be Used in Events

There are five major ways AR can enhance the event experience:

  1. Deliver turn-by-turn navigation capabilities to trade show booths.
    Developers can overlay the existing tradeshow floor and give attendees a GPS roadmap to get them to the vendors they want to see. This is something attendees have wanted for a very long time, especially with large trade shows.
  2. As attendees move toward an exhibitor’s booth, other exhibitors can post virtual objects in the attendee’s path, trying to entice them to stop and learn more about their products and services.
  3. Event organizers can introduce the concept of virtual signage.
    Rather than having posters and banners throughout the meeting space, the ability for AR users to view signage that is only on the app, allows for much more flexibility with signage, without spending any money on real signs or taking the time to post them throughout the event.
  4. Track attendee movement.
    With the right AR program, you will be able to know where attendees are and how long they stay at a session or event booth. You can also tell if they left the event floor entirely.
  5. Allows for gamification.

Much like the Pokémon Go phase, AR has a natural gamification element that can get attendees excited about scavenger hunts and prizes they can win.

What Does This All Mean?

Even though there are not any specific event ARKit applications on the market today, look for a slew of them in the next few months as awareness increases and demand peaks.

In addition, Google recently announced ARCore for developers to compete with the ARKit, but it does not have the same seamless integration as ARKit. The latter makes the smartphone hardware and software work as one unit (i.e. camera, processor, motion sensors).

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We have iPhone and iPad rental specialists that can fill your AR orders in the hundreds for your next event or trade show. Call 888-520-5667 to speak to our experienced sales team members.