The Basics of ARKit: Building Augmented Reality Applications with Ease

Estimated read time 3 min read


Augmented reality (AR) technology is becoming increasingly popular as it enables developers to create interactive and immersive experiences for users. One such AR framework that has gained traction among developers is ARKit, which was introduced by Apple in 2015. ARKit allows developers to build AR applications for iOS devices, making it easier for them to create engaging and interactive experiences for their users. In this article, we will explore the basics of ARKit, including its key features, benefits, and how it works.

Understanding ARKit:
ARKit is a powerful AR framework that enables developers to build immersive experiences on iOS devices. It uses the camera and sensors on an iPhone or iPad to track the real-world environment and overlay digital content onto it. This creates a seamless blend of the virtual world and the real world, allowing users to interact with virtual objects in their physical surroundings.

ARKit Key Features:

  1. Scene Graphs: ARKit uses scene graphs to represent 3D models and animations. Scene graphs can be used to create complex hierarchies of objects and enable developers to manipulate them easily.
  2. Image Tracking: ARKit enables image tracking, which allows it to track real-world objects and surfaces in the camera feed. This enables developers to overlay digital content onto real-world objects or surfaces, creating a more immersive experience for users.
  3. Plane Detection: ARKit also supports plane detection, which allows it to detect flat surfaces such as tables and floors. This can be used to create interactive experiences where virtual objects can be placed on these surfaces and interact with them in real-time.
  4. Lighting: ARKit includes advanced lighting features that allow developers to simulate realistic lighting conditions in their AR applications. This enables developers to create more immersive and believable experiences for users.

Benefits of ARKit:

  1. Engaging User Experience: ARKit enables developers to create engaging and interactive user experiences that are more immersive than traditional 2D applications.
  2. Increased Productivity: ARKit simplifies the development process, enabling developers to build AR applications faster and with less code than traditional methods.
  3. Cost-Effective: ARKit is a cost-effective solution for building AR applications as it is included in Apple’s iOS operating system.
  4. Cross-Platform Compatibility: ARKit is compatible with both iOS and macOS devices, making it easy to build cross-platform AR applications.

Creating an ARKit Application:
Creating an ARKit application involves several steps. First, developers need to create a new project in Xcode, Apple’s integrated development environment (IDE). They can then add ARKit framework to their project and design the scene graph that will represent the 3D models and animations in their application. Developers can also use image tracking and plane detection to overlay digital content onto real-world objects or surfaces.


ARKit is a powerful AR framework that enables developers to build engaging and immersive experiences for users on iOS devices. Its key features include scene graphs, image tracking, plane detection, and advanced lighting features. The benefits of using ARKit include increased user engagement, productivity, cost-effectiveness, and cross-platform compatibility. With its ease of use and powerful capabilities, ARKit is an excellent tool for developers looking to build AR applications that will captivate their users.

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