Apple is touting a bunch of new augmented reality features at its Worldwide Developers Conference. Perhaps the most substantial is support for “shared experiences,” which allow users to interact with common 3D objects through separate iPhone or iPad screens by aiming the camera at a physical area, like a tabletop. (Lego will be an early partner, with virtual and augmented physical constructions that multiple users can play with together.)
There’s also a new file format called USDZ, which developers can use to build augmented reality objects that work across apps. You might, for instance, tap on an image in a news article to view the object in an interactive 3D environment. Adobe says it will support the format in its Adobe Creative Cloud products.
Meanwhile, Apple is using AR to render tape measures obsolete. An upcoming app called “Measure” lets users drag a line over real-world objects to measure their length. It can also automatically detect the size of photos in a frame.
The new features will be part of iOS 12, which is coming this fall.