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Apple launched their new RoomPlan Swift API at the recent Worldwide Developers Conference in June. Apple’s ARKit is a development platform that uses the sensors on iOS devices to recreate the environment in the virtual world. This technology allows for better AR object placement in many apps and programs. The use of the camera, LIDAR and internal inertia sensors allows developers to design iOS-based AR content and apps.
Apple’s Swift API allows iOS users to scan a space, and quickly have a 3D layout of the room on their iPhone or iPad, including the furniture, decor, and equipment. The most impressive features of RoomPlan are the precision, speed of scanning, and great animation with a real-time preview.
The 3D floor plan is exported as a USDZ file that is compatible with popular tools such as Cinema 4D, Shapr3D, and AutoCAD. The USDZ 3D format allows the outputs to be used on multiple platforms. Apple is working to make visually appealing 3D layouts accessible to any iOS user, and the use cases include architecture, design, and real estate.
Although many are enthusiastic about this platform, others in the industry have expressed concern over the accuracy of the software compared to high-priced, professional technology. Proponents believe that ARKit creates better data than photogrammetry could ever provide.
RoomPlan may have less accuracy than some higher cost tools, but we can anticipate an improvement in precision over time. It’s up to individuals to decide what is “accurate enough” for their specifications. With over a billion active iPhones, RoomPlan will be added to apps and refined by software developers.