As expected, Apple revealed today at the WWDC keynote that ARKit 2.0 will support multiplayer gaming support and persistent content, which will arrive this fall with iOS 12.
In addition to persistent and shared experiences, ARKit 2.0 will bring improved face tracking, more realistic rendering, and 3D object detection. Shared experiences will enable multiplayer support for games and group collaboration for productivity apps. In addition, a spectator mode so that others can watch along from another iOS device.
To demonstrate the new shared experiences capability, Apple has published a sample multiplayer game that will be available for download today, according to Craig Federighi, vice president of senior vice president of software engineering.
Meanwhile, persistent AR will allow users to save the location of AR content so that users can resume interactions in the same place at a later time. This way, games can be resumed later or creators can save and then continue working on content.
Lego demonstrated 3D object detection and the shared, persistent experiences in a prototype app. Users will be able to scan a Lego set and bring it to life in AR, and multiple players will be able to play along. The whole virtual playset can be saved to the physical set to pick up play after naptime. The AR experience will be available later this year.
Also, Apple will introduce a new file format for augmented reality called USDZ, which flies in the face of the open gITF format that many companies in the augmented reality space are using.
Adobe, PTC, Scope AR and Sketchfab are among the companies that are supporting the new file format. Specifically, Adobe is bringing native support for UDZ to Adobe Creative Cloud. Abhay Parasnis, executive vice president and CTO announced that Adobe would bring "what you see is what you get editing" to its platform.
Federighi demonstrated how the file format would bring AR content to articles in Apple's News app. The format would also enable AR experiences on the web, as shown via a guitar customization tool for the Fender website. Musicians can now see how that Stratocaster with sunburst finish looks in their home studio.
Alongside the new file format, Federighi introduced Measure, Apple's own AR measuring app and death knell for all the other measuring apps in the App Store.
As per usual, iOS 12 along with ARKit 2.0 are available in beta to developers or anyone impersonating them on eligible iPhones and iPads.