UPDATED: January 4, 2019
Originally posted Sept. 21, 2017
The moment I started playing with the incredible ARKit apps, I couldn't wait for others to join me. I rushed my videos to Twitter while I bit my nails waiting for educators to show me their videos and pictures using the apps. It wasn't long before I started getting messages that their device was too old to run the apps made with the ARKit.
I'm not going to pretend to know the technical reasons why these devices can't run the ARKit apps, but I will share what I've learned in this process. First, the chip that runs our devices needs to have the A9, A10, A11 or an A12 chip. I evaluated the devices we currently have in the classroom, and I was bummed that most of our Apple devices don't have access to this technology.
The ARKit & ARKit 2 apps can be on the following devices:
The first thought that came to mind was, WAIT...WHAT?! I've been recommending iPods for the classroom, but the newest iPod only has an A8 chip. What does this mean? It means, if we want our students to have access to the best virtual reality AND augmented reality experiences using an Apple device, we don't have the iPod as an option. With the release of ARCore by Google for developers, my hope is that we can experience the best AR available using the devices we already have in the classroom.
The next release of augmented reality from Apple was ARKit 2. Educators were able to enjoy the benefits when updating to iOS 12. The release brought new features, and my favorite being collaboration. On the same network, students can create in AR using specific ARKit 2 apps. Another helpful feature is an improvement in movement tracking to keep AR located in the correct place with minimal change while walking around.
Change is in the air! I do see more augmented and virtual reality becoming available through our browsers. Want to see what I mean? View this image below after clicking on this link on your mobile device.
I know, right! We can have AR experiences inside of our browser, so what does that mean about computers? Webcam and internet with a supported browser are all you need. Let's keep an eye out to see more ARVRinEDU in our browsers.
We'll see more alternatives pop-up in the coming months, but ultimately, we ALL need access to this technology. Our students need to create experiences like we see above that don't rely on a specific device or operating system. It will be our students that take these technologies to the next level and build unimaginable tools. As schools decide on future devices, consider purchasing the technology that supports ARKit.