The latest update for Unreal Engine now brings native support for augmented reality development.
Update 4.18 comes with support for Apple’s ARKit and Google’s ARCore augmented reality frameworks. The support for ARKit is ‘production ready’, meaning that you can get in straight away and develop something for the market. Following testing in 4.17, the workflows for using ARKit has been streamlined and improvements made to the fidelity and performance of projects developed using Apple’s tech. Support for ARCore’s developer preview is supported but the framework is still to be released fully by Google.
In addition to AR, there have been vast improvements to media support within the engine, including real-time video compositing and online media streaming. Volumetric lighting also sees improvements. The Unreal Engine has been used to show off the potential of high-quality AR experiences with Apple’s demonstrations of ARKit on its iPhone and iPad ranges using the engine.
Speaking on the Epic Games blog following WWDC 2017, Epic’s Tim Sweeny said, "Apple’s debut of VR support for Mac and AR support for iOS are true game-changers. Whereas there are a couple million VR enthusiasts today, and early AR hardware from other companies has reached several thousand developers, Apple is bringing this high-powered technology to hundreds of millions of consumers right now.
"I believe this is truly the start of the mainstream VR and AR revolution that we at Epic have been striving for, and building for, over the course of many years. It’s the most definitive event marking the move to high-end technology that will power a new generation of world-class experiences transcending games and storytelling."
You can read more about the Unreal Engine 4.18 update here.