I recently made the decision to get a new TV, but couldn’t settle on which size to get. One Saturday morning I came up with the idea to use Apple’s new ARKit tech to help solve this problem, and shortly after TV Plan was born.
In Summer 2017, Apple made it offical that they were getting serious about Augmented Reality. After seeing what the tech was capable of, I realized immediately this was something I wanted to get involved in. Since June, I’ve been learning and tinkering with ARKit to see what it’s capable of, but only recently has an obvious real-world use case come to mind.
An important opportunity I’ve identified has been for simple utilities which solve problems that couldn’t otherwise be addressed without AR. My problem was “will a 55 inch TV look too big in my living room?”.
A lesson learned from this project was the effectiveness of lighting and shadows. Adding a soft shadow behind the TV resulted in geometry looking way less like a superimposed 3D mesh slapped on top of my camera’s feed, and more like something which was actually “there”. Although subtle and not immediately obvious, I expect improvements in light estimation to be critical to the success of AR in the future.
Here’s an example of the TV with and without shadows:
As for next steps, I’ve been collecting feedback online and offline, and will be cycling quick wins into the app in the near future. For example, a common suggestion has been to add support for different TV sizes. Turns out my assumption that TVs max out around 75” was pretty naive 🤓.