Join gaming leaders online at GamesBeat Summit Next this upcoming November 9-10. Learn more about what comes next. 

Apple showed off its new augmented reality technology today at its Worldwide Developer Conference in San Jose, California. The company’s new ARKit developer platform should enable AR developers to make apps that can run on hundreds of millions of existing iPads and iPhones.

I got a few hands-on demos of the software running on a new iPad, including the demo below of Star Wars Holochess, which is a take of the holographic chess game from A New Hope. You can play the game against any backdrop. In this case, the real tabletop served as the background for the game. In it, you simply tap a spot on the board where you want your monster to go. And if you tap on another monster, yours will attack it.

The demo was one of a number that showed Apple is at last quite serious about AR, as well as its cousin, virtual reality. In another AR demo, also shown below, Apple showed how you could put a virtual candle or a coffee cup on a table. If you put a lamp down and move it around, you’ll see that the shadow of the cup or the candle moves around as well. That makes the AR animations more realistic and believable. Clearly, though, the tech has a ways to go before you’ll mistake AR animations for something real.

Here’s a demo of Star Wars Holochess on Apple’s augmented reality platform.


Three top investment pros open up about what it takes to get your video game funded.

Watch On Demand

Here’s an extended version of the Apple AR demo.


GamesBeat's creed when covering the game industry is "where passion meets business." What does this mean? We want to tell you how the news matters to you -- not just as a decision-maker at a game studio, but also as a fan of games. Whether you read our articles, listen to our podcasts, or watch our videos, GamesBeat will help you learn about the industry and enjoy engaging with it. How will you do that? Membership includes access to:
  • Newsletters, such as DeanBeat
  • The wonderful, educational, and fun speakers at our events
  • Networking opportunities
  • Special members-only interviews, chats, and "open office" events with GamesBeat staff
  • Chatting with community members, GamesBeat staff, and other guests in our Discord
  • And maybe even a fun prize or two
  • Introductions to like-minded parties
Become a member