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ARKit and HTC Vive Bring Mixed Reality to iPad

Apple’s ARKit combined HTC Vive shows us the future of mixed reality.

Apple’s recently released ARKit platform is absolutely killing it right now. The augmented reality developer application has been breaking down walls for both amateurs and professionals providing an experience that’s as impressive as it is accessible. We recently covered some of the cooler creations made using the intuitive software in a previous post.

However, it now appears as though that list may have been premature. In a Twitter video posted by NY-based virtual reality developer Normal VR, the company showcased an augmented reality experience featuring one of their custom avatars drawing a Tilt Brush-esque painting right in the middle of their office. But things get truly interesting when the camera pans right, revealing a person inside an HTC Vive as the actual artist.

Using Apple’s ARKit, Normal VR was actually able to capture the movements and actions of the human artist and project their VR renditions in real life via augmented reality. It’s almost like the opposite of how current VR studios are displaying real people in virtual environments. Instead, this application brings digital elements from the virtual world into reality.

In the video, the avatar can be seen mimicking the actions of the real-life artist in real-time. The experience also captures the digital painting being crafted, which points towards the possibility of bringing other digital elements from VR into the real world such as different environments and characters. Not only that, but several viewing options also appear to be functional, allowing the ability to scale or reposition visuals.

No word yet on when or if this prototype experience is coming to the public, but just based off the short video, the potential is clear. This prototype could flip the script on mixed reality and provide a whole new perspective on how to view VR content outside of a headset. We’ll be keeping up with this exciting new concept as it continues to develop.

Normal VR is responsible for several other popular virtual reality applications like their open-source drum keyboard and the Deluxe Chaperone 3000 VR border system.

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