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Today Apple announced that iOS 11 will launch on September 19, and with it the official release version of the ARKit framework. Soon developers will be able to publish Unity ARKit apps to the App Store, unlocking hundreds of millions of users worldwide.

Since the original announcement of ARKit at WWDC and the launch of our Unity ARKit plugin back in June, we’ve seen an incredible response from the community. We have worked side-by-side with developers, listening and making constant improvements to our plugin based on their feedback. We have been inspired by the apps and experiences that you have started to create. In fact, some apps made with Unity were shown at the Apple Event today, such as Warhammer 40,000: Freeblade by Pixel Toys, an action-packed sci-fi game rendered in the real world.

We’ve also seen hundreds, if not thousands, of Made with Unity ARKit experiments and demos — here are some of our favorites:

This is just the beginning. We know there is a lot more amazing content coming — here’s a sneak preview of a few Made with Unity ARKit apps, which we expect to launch this fall:

  • ARQUA by Cabbibo — an AR aquarium creation tool produced by Viacom Next
  • Walking Dead: Our World by Next Games – location-based AR zombies
  • Splitter Critters by RAC7 Games – a puzzle game with some AR-exclusive levels
  • Mammoth Mini Golf from Ezone.com — a game made with ARKit which brings a wacky caveman-themed world of mini-golf right into your home
  • GNOG by KO_OP — a 3D puzzle game set in a world of toys and secrets which transforms your tabletop into a magical toy box, bringing a new level of tactile, physical interaction to its captivating world

ARQUA by Cabbibo

GNOG by KO_OP

 Mammoth Mini Golf by Ezone.com

The Unity ARKit plugin provides developers with friendly access to ARKit’s features: motion tracking, live video rendering, plane finding and hit-testing, ambient light estimation, raw point cloud data, and more. There are also convenient Unity components to simplify the creation of new AR apps, or easy integration of AR features in existing Unity projects.

New ARKit Plugin Features

Unity’s ARKit Plugin has an exclusive capability that will save developers hours of development time: the Unity ARKit Remote. This tool speeds up iteration by allowing you to make changes to the scene and debug scripts in the Unity Editor, in real-time, without having to build to the device.

Our plugin now supports access to the following new functionalities:

  • Light estimation for ambient color temperature, in addition to the ambient intensity
  • Specifying your own User Anchors
  • Receiving events when the tracking state has changed
  • Event notifications for when an AR session is interrupted or resumes

We have included many new examples to help you get up and running on your AR project fast, including:

  • Scaled content (imagine a city in your living room)
  • Focus Square (a UI element to show where to place objects)
  • Occlusion (shader and material that will hide virtual objects behind real ones) 
  • Shadow (shader and material to ground your virtual object in the real world)

Get Started on Building Your ARKit App With Unity

The Unity ARKit Plugin is available now as a package from the Asset Store. It is also available as an open-source repository on BitBucket, where you can join us in making it even better! Head over to the forums to learn how to get started or if you have any questions.

System Requirements

Please see the README.md file in the bitbucket repository for complete details. Note that the ARKit Plugin requires:

  • Unity 5.6.2 or later (Unity 2017.1 or later recommended)
  • iOS 11 or later (You can sign up for the iOS 11 beta through Apple’s website)
  • Xcode 9 or later, with iOS SDK that includes the ARKit framework
  • iOS device that is supported by the ARKit framework

We can’t wait to see your brand new ARKit apps up on the App Store!

 

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  1. I’ve been most impressed with the Thomas the Tank AR experience. It’s not as useful, but being able to place a virtual track that you built on your desk or floor and then watch as the trains drive around and hot air balloons fly through the room is pretty cool. You can also change the size so it will fit on an end table or be the size of a whole room.
    Vshare for iOS 11

  2. Wow just saw the occlusion shader! Nice one!

  3. Hey hey, we have an ARKit game that’s ready for submission, but when can we submit? :/

    1. If you are an Apple developer, you can submit now! You should build your app with XCode 9 GM version, and test on iOS 11 GM version for submission.

  4. Is it possible to get somewhere only the “Shadow” shader mentioned in the article?
    It would be very useful even for standard, “non-AR” use.

    It is commonly called “matte shadow” and used for creating shadows on invisible planes; I believe Unity did not have anything similar up to now.

    The Shadow Drawer made by Keigiro Takahashi is close, but due to some Unity limitations it can not be used against the Unity background.
    Is this limitation removed with the “Shadow” shader mentioned in the article?

    Thanks

    1. You can take a look at the shader and the rest of the example at https://bitbucket.org/Unity-Technologies/unity-arkit-plugin