What Apple’s New ARKit Means for Planners



At its annual WWDC event last week, Apple showcased its brand new augmented reality (AR) development tool called ARKit. For most, this is very big, and unexpected, news. Apple’s ARKit uses cameras, processors and motion sensors in iPhones and iPads to establish a new standard for the AR experience. Apple’s iOS 11 tools will facilitate developers in building in-app AR experiences.

From the looks of it, Apple just introduced the largest AR platform in the world. Apple ARKit demos are circulating, but the official release is scheduled for fall. Since its announcement, though, there’s already been a lot of buzz around how different industries will make use of the groundbreaking technology. Considering the various applications of augmented reality, the meetings and events industry will definitely see some benefits. Here’s what planners can look forward to:

Décor and Floor Plans

IKEA’s demo shows how Apple ARKit will support interior decorating, mainly by using Visual Inertial Odometry, a technology that can track an iPad or iPhone’s surroundings. The size and overall set-up of a room is analyzed automatically. This allows ARKit to paint a realistic picture of how items fit into a room.

So how can meeting and event planner take advantage of this? For starters, visualizing a meeting or event space will be much easier and more sophisticated. It will also answer basic configuration questions without the hassle of having to get out the measuring tape.

Virtual Attendance

Attending a meeting or event in real life is always the ideal. However, travel can sometimes be inconvenient, especially for high-profile individuals. Thanks to advanced 360-degree cameras, remote visualizations are going to be extremely realistic. Real-time manipulations and person-to-person interaction will be featured as well. You could even have a speaker appear in hologram form.

Event Games

Augmented reality is going to transform gamification. One example is this enterprising user’s manipulation of Microsoft’s AR headset. Developer Abhishek Singh created a way to play Super Mario Bros. in the real world as an AR experience.

Imagine the enjoyment attendees will get from this kind of interactive play. It doesn’t have to be limited to video games either. An AR scavenger hunt could be a fun option for team-building or ice-breaking games.

Showcasing Products

Volvo has already picked up on the tremendous potential of augmented reality. The car brand is working on technology that would offer virtual car engagement to potential customers. And since there are many product demonstrations at events, especially trade shows, this will certainly be useful. When opting for virtual product demos and displays, event space could be conserved and the burden of transporting large items eliminated—not to mention the high potential for cost cuts.