LEGO showcases Augmented Reality play with Apple’s ARKit 2 at WWDC [News]

Martin Sanders, LEGO’s Director of Innovation took the stage to showcase LEGO’s integration with Apple’s new revelation of ARKit 2 during the 2018 World Wide Developers Conference in San Jose earlier this week. ARKit 2 is a platform that allows developers like LEGO to integrate shared experiences, bringing together a virtual experienced tied to a physical play set.

Martin showcased the physical Assembly Square Creator Modular Set as the main centrepiece. The ARKit featured integration into the LEGO Application detected the build and automagically built a virtual version of the Downtown Diner Modular and Brick Bank side by side with virtual sidewalks, grass and roads and other city accessories, combining the digital and physical set. The science behind it is about detecting and tracking where the real physical Assembly Square as a starting point and building everything else around with the capability to continuously track and update all players with the iPad as a navigation window into the virtual world.

The demonstration featured the ability to drop minifigures and vehicles into the virtual world and interact with other characters that come to life. The player would be expected to complete the gameplay given the pre-programmed scenarios.

One scenario that came to life was the Assembly Square building catching fire and the player having to react by dropping in a fire truck to hose it down while the other player deploys a helicopter to rescue the minifigures stranded on the rooftop. Actions from one player would be visible to the other player in the same space. Completing the stage would unlock other vehicles in this demonstration.

The multiplayer demo gameplay supports up to four players within the same game space. ARKit 2 will be available with iOS 12, slated to be released in the last quarter of 2018, and audiences were told to keep a lookout for more AR integration with LEGO by the end of the year.

Check out the full 4-minute showcase of the ARKit 2 revelation and LEGO play in this video.

5 comments on “LEGO showcases Augmented Reality play with Apple’s ARKit 2 at WWDC [News]

  1. Watanuki

    I don’t see any added value compared to a normal video game. It’s not augmented reality for me if you don’t interact with the real world, the Lego set, any more but just tip icons on your tablet. What’s the use of the Lego set in this game? It would be different if the software would be able to recognize self-made things so that you can “download” them into your virtual world.

  2. B. Rad

    This is already a step in a right direction. The fact that LEGO was included in the presentation is quite awesome. The fact that it can recognize sets is a very good indicator of technological process. I doubt many people will have that technology in their hands before iOS 12 rolls out in the Fall.

    As for recognizing MOCs, that would be quite impossible, at the moment. It looks like what they just showcased is a form of three dimensional image recognition, in which they have a database of LEGO sets to go off of for reference when it comes to rebuilding them in the App. Once the App recognizing the build in the database, it already knows how to build it based on the predefined instructions.

    I feel like the technology you’re hoping for is much further in the future. Not only would it have to be able to recognize individual bricks in a build, it would somehow have to recognize interiors of your MOC, as well, to know how to put it all together. That’s a lot to ask at this point in time.


    One reason Lego is loved by, and purchased by, so many parents is it encourages creativity in its play. I don’t want my kids to be staring at a screen and ignoring the actual pay set right in front of them. This technology is not a good fit, and will fail.

  4. Mark S

    Didn’t we have this already with LEGO Fusion back in 2014? It started with a much cheaper set too.

  5. Watanuki

    @ B. Rad
    I know that what I imagine is not technologically feasible at the moment. At least not as affordable commercial product. I only mentioned it because for me it’s the only thing I could think of how such a game like featured above could add value to physical lego play. A game like above does not encourage creativity in any way. Like I said, it’s not different to a normal video game. You build your set following the instructions, scan it and then discard it since all the game-play happens on your touch screen.

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