Apple’s rumored mixed reality headset may help you create apps even if you don’t know how to code. The Information sources claim Apple is working on a tool that would let anyone create augmented reality apps with Siri. You’d only have to tell the voice assistant what you want — you could have digital animals scurrying around the room without the need for modeling, animation or conventional programming software.
The AR creation tool is said to be based on technology from Fabric Software, a Canadian company Apple quietly bought in 2017. The acquired startup’s Fabric Engine let developers automatically create environments and objects using procedural generation, a technique used in games like No Man’s Sky. A Fabric co-founder, Peter Zion, is believed to be running the development tool project. Apple also bought DigitalRune, which sought to make 3D game development easier, in 2016.
Apple might also save you the trouble of creating unique objects for headset apps. You could scan and import objects that, if all goes well, would look and behave realistically. You wouldn’t have to rely on Apple-made stock models. Existing like Object Capture (which creates 3D models from iPhone photos) and RoomPlan (for virtual floor plans) are apparently part of these efforts.
The company has already declined comment. The state of the Siri-based development tool isn’t known, but the sources say Apple’s original plan was to release the suite at the same time as the headset. Current rumors have the wearable arriving as soon as this spring.
According to past rumors, the initial mixed reality headset (possibly named Reality Pro) may be very expensive and aimed more at professionals than everyday users. However, leaks suggest Apple is still building features that would appeal to a mainstream audience, such as FaceTime calls with avatars as well as health and fitness apps that could include a meditation experience. Combined with the easy development tool, Apple may be setting the stage for a lower-priced wearable by fostering the app ecosystem — there could be plenty of apps by the time there’s a headset you can afford.
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