Jim Keen courtesy Morpholio Morpholio's Perspective Finder tool can locate the vanishing point of a scene via an iPad or iPhone camera, allowing designers to sketch over an environment accurately.

Jim Keen courtesy Morpholio Morpholio’s Perspective Finder tool can locate the vanishing point of a scene via an iPad or iPhone camera, allowing designers to sketch over an environment accurately.

One of the most buzzed-about features of Apple’s new iOS 11 is ARKit, an augmented reality (AR) framework that uses an iPhone’s or iPad’s camera to capture data about its surrounding environment. Introduced in June at the Worldwide Developer Conference, the framework allows third-party developers to leverage the software’s use of SLAM (Simultaneous Localization and Mapping) technology to identify horizontal surfaces, record light levels, and measure distances automatically.

ARKit’s take on SLAM technology raises the bar on existing augmented reality platforms, which often combined global positioning data with plane recognition and a designated marker to enhance an environment with an object, advertising, or say a Pokémon character as in the popular Pokémon Go app. A Sept. 11 Variety article notes that Apple’s SLAM technology can “recognize objects and their position relative to the camera,” such that a Pokémon character can not only appear on any given table surface, but also fall off the table if it ventures too far.