Apple previews ARKit apps, Google debuts ARCore: It's all about business, developers

Augmented reality is likely to become a key cog in digital transformation efforts. Cue the race between Apple and Google.

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Apple is just days away from its Sept. 12 event rolling out new iPhones, but it's priming the augmented reality pump, previewing apps and showing what's possible with virtual room design, indoor mapping and retail applications.

Word of Apple's ARKit app show and tell is spreading. CNET's Sean Hollister and Scott Stein outlined how the iPhone maker is approaching augmented reality. Naturally, Apple highlighted a few games and fun GIFs. But IKEA room layout AR app is what you should really watch.

Why? Pokemon Go was the first AR mainstream hit. And Pokemon Go's rough sketch highlighted the business opportunity. The IKEA app on ARKit showed the potential to rearrange rooms, visualize the decor and ultimately buy something. IKEA plans to have 2,000 pieces of furniture available to digitally test in your home when the app launches with iOS 11 this fall.

Hmm. Doesn't this ARKit thing sound like a digital transformation enabler? Let's connect a few dots:

Let's get real. Apple's ARKit is as much a business play as it is a consumer one. Guess where the money will be?

Given the Apple ARKit effort it's not surprising that Google is showing off ARCore to developers. Of course, Google will see AR as an advertising bonanza--talk about localization--and developers will get some cut.

What would a retailer pay for AR-fueled foot traffic into a store? How about a mall operator? How about an amusement park? Google will be happy to roll with the bids for ads.

Here's where things get interesting though. Today's AR developers are more likely to be loyal to the concept of the technology instead of merely a platform. These AR developers and the companies that back them are going to follow the money. And when it comes to money a lot of roads are going to go through the enterprise technology.

More:

Apple, SAP forge enterprise app pact for iPhone, iPad

SAP will provide an SDK that will allow developers and customers to create native enterprise apps on Apple devices.

Inside the Apple-IBM deal: How will it work, and what to expect

The Apple-IBM deal set aside decades of rivalry to forge a new path into tapping the enterprise market. But some key industries will miss out. Here's why.

How Pokemon Go may help AR's business case

Pokemon Go is making augmented reality a household technology. That reality can only help enterprises dabbling in the technology.

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