Continuing its regular roll outs of updates for Unreal Engine 4, Epic Games has now made the first preview available for version 4.18, which includes support for iOS 11 and augmented reality (AR).
When Apple unveiled ARKit back in June Epic Games added early access support through a GitHub download link, with Unreal Engine 4.18 Preview 1 that support is now featured directly in the videogame engine rather than externally. This also goes for Google’s ARCore which had a similar early access release before proper integration.
Detailing the update on the Unreal Engine forum, the studio states: “We’ve released the first portion of our unification of the base functionality between Apple’s ARKit and Google’s ARCore developer preview. We’ll continue to grow and mature these APIs, but in the beginning, passthrough cameras and camera control and synching have been unified, and are built on top of our new shared XR engine layer.”
The Unified XR Engine Layer is the second major inclusion for 4.18 Preview 1. “We’ve created a shared XR layer in the engine to support VR and AR Systems so that all existing system plugins now build upon the default camera implementation for both Camera Components and camera passthrough view,” explains the studio. “This not only makes behavior more consistent between VR and AR platforms, but should help simplify hardware developers adding support for their platforms to UE4.
As with any preview release Epic Games always notes that: “Developers should not convert their projects for active development on preview releases,” as these releases aren’t fully quality tested like the final version.
AR has certainly had a boost with the roll out of ARKit and ARCore, especially with iOS 11 recently launching so that consumers can start playing the latest AR titles on their iPhones and iPads. Unreal Engine rival Unity announced full support yesterday for Apple’s operating system, so expect plenty more content to be arriving in the months to come.
VRFocus will continue its coverage of Unreal Engine, reporting back with the latest updates.