The Machines may be Apple's most impressive augmented-reality showcase yet

And it's a full game due this month.  

Apple revealed perhaps the best showcase for its impending augmented-reality tech yet at its press conference earlier today.

Shanghai-based startup Directive Games' upcoming RTS The Machines will take full advantage of Apple's ARKit tech, which will be included in iOS 11 when that update launches on 19th September.

As you can see in the footage below, players can view the virtual terrain on a real table by pointing their phone at it and looking through the camera. Impressively, even the audio is location-based, so as you get closer to the AR environment you'll hear sounds of varying volumes relative to where you are. So get up close to the action and the gunfire will be quite loud, but if you pull back or are obstructed by the AR environment, it will dwindle into quieter, distant sounds.

In addition to local multiplayer, there will also be an online option, so you needn't worry about constantly bumping into your opponent when navigating around the table.

Directive CEO Atli Mar boasted that The Machines, which is rendered in Unreal Engine 4, will present an AR stage consisting of 1.2m polygons that can all be rendered on screen in real-time. It will even have 4K textures.

This isn't the first time we've seen Apple debut this tech, as earlier this year we caught a glimpse of Peter Jackson's augmented-reality company, Wingnut AR, showing off its ARKit iOS project. But that was just a prototype. The Machines is a full game that's planned to launch later this month.

It's worth noting that the demonstration at the Apple press conference was performed with the just announced iPhone 8, which will launch 22nd September. There's no telling how compatible it will be with older hardware.

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Jeffrey Matulef

Jeffrey Matulef

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Jeffrey Matulef is the best-dressed man in 1984.


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