The New York Times is planning to debut augmented reality in the news app for the first time during the Olympic Games in South Korea. This way you can stop an ice skater during a jump and then view it from all angles. “As if he is floating in your living room,” the newspaper promises. The New York Times will also increasingly add augmented reality in other news articles. The newspaper uses Apple’s ARKit, which has already been released for developers. On Android devices it does not work yet because Google’s clone ARCore is not yet widely available to the general public.
“Would you like to see something up close? Then you do not have to pin, but you just walk around with your phone or around it “, the NYT promises. Coming weekend, the first articles with AR will be available, in addition to photography and film. The newspaper also wants to use it to add a data layer to the physical world. In this way, the NYT hopes to bridge the gap between the physical and digital world.
Augmented reality could give a new impetus to news apps. “The camera becomes a window to a world, enriched with digital information,” promises NYT. “It can put a work of art in your bedroom or a car on your driveway“. It is not real, of course, but it seems like that. Stories that take place in the three-dimensional world now get an extra layer. You can walk there and walk around it. If there is a protest demonstration you feel like you are in the middle of it and with a sporting performance you stand next to the athlete on stage and you can experience what it is like to win.
In an explanation article, NYT makes clear what users can expect.
You need the following:
- An iPhone SE, iPhone 6S or newer, iPad Pro or fifth generation iPad
- The latest version of iOS
- The latest version of the NYTimes app, with permission to use the camera
With ARKit, developers can easily create augmented reality applications without having to invent the wheel themselves. ARKit is available in iOS 11 and is mainly used in games. But serious applications are also possible, as the New York Times now shows.