September 12, 2017

High-End Augmented Reality Is Within Reach

By Dana Cowley

During today’s Apple Special event held in the Steve Jobs Theater at the new Apple Park campus, Apple introduced the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X, all of which are finely tuned for augmented reality running on iOS 11.

ARKit experience created with Unreal Engine 4

The new iPhone 8 models, which will be available on September 22, and the iPhone X, coming in November, all feature the new 64-bit, six-core A11 Bionic chip, which contains 4.3 billion transistors and is the first Apple-designed GPU that is 30% faster than the A10 found in iPhone 7 models.

In addition, Apple has optimized the processor for running games and Metal 2. This is great news for developers looking to build graphically rich, interactive experiences for mobile devices, and we’ve pushed Unreal Engine to complement this effort.

To demonstrate the AR capabilities of today’s new iOS devices, Atli Mar Sveinsson, CEO and Co-Founder of Directive Games, revealed his team’s new game, The Machines, coming to iOS this month.


“With The Machines we have pushed the boundaries of visual fidelity in augmented reality incredibly far,” said Sveinsson. “The power of the new iPhone and Unreal Engine are the perfect combination that allows us to reach that goal. With its rendering tools and the accessibility of many other features, Unreal is set it in a class of its own.”


Directive Games created The Machines using Unreal Engine 4.17 and pre-release support for the improved Metal 2 shader compiler and native ARKit support. These improvements, plus additional optimizations specifically targeted at iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra, will be available to all developers when Unreal 4.18 is released in October.

In June at WWDC 2017, Peter Jackson’s Wingnut AR revealed ARKit with their Unreal Engine 4-powered demo. With their help we released same-day support for ARKit via GitHub, and then shipped an early access preview in Unreal Engine 4.17. Check out this handy Getting Started with ARKit guide.

If you’re looking to target AR on Android, we have you covered there, too. Google has released their developer preview of ARCore, which includes Unreal Engine support, and we will be releasing our own preview in Unreal Engine 4.18.

Happy building! No matter what you’re creating with Unreal Engine 4, we’d love to see your work tagged on social media using #UE4. You can also mention @UnrealEngine on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.