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IT MAKES A
Your LEGO playsets are going to look a whole lot
cooler with the addition of
Apple’s ARKit 2.0 technology:
a new augmented reality
experience that supplements
physical LEGO kits with
virtual buildings, people,
foliage, and vehicles.
Martin Sanders, LEGO’s
Director of Innovation, took
the stage at Apple’s 2018
Developer Conference) to
show off how ARKit 2.0 can
With the “Assembly Square” playset placed on a table in front of him, Sanders aimed at
it with an iPad and — with the press of a button — created an entire town around the
physical building on his screen. Other shops, sidewalks, and grass appeared — nearly
indistinguishable from the physical set.
All this is made possible through the 3D object detection in ARKit 2.0, which allows
users to add stuff. Small icons visible above certain people and objects in the world even
allow you to take part in missions. These can include situations that require urgent action,
such as a building catching fire (with a firetruck, you can put out the flames). During the
WWDC demonstration, Sanders also rescued multiple trapped citizens from the roof of a
building using a helicopter.
If you approach one of the buildings with your camera and peer inside, you’ll find the
buildings bustling with activity. With a quick tap, you can even peel back the outside walls of
multiple buildings to observe them like you would a dollhouse.
ARKit 2.0 allows up to four players to experience a LEGO world at the same time,
with the changes made by one player instantly visible on the other player’s screens.
When you’re done playing for the day, you can save all the progress you’ve made and tie
it to your physical set, allowing you to start from the same point when you’re ready to play
“When we combine physical and digital together like this, it really opens up those
creative play possibilities,” Sanders said.
LEGO promises more AR experiences will be available in the App Store later this year.