Apple’s ARKit is Unleashing a Wave of Home DIY Applications

I have warned that some of the early ARKit apps will all compete on one cool feature – virtual digital measuring tape, and figuring out how to craft nuanced solutions that combine this feature with other relevant tools will separate the also-rans from the true AR app visionaries.

Introducing PLNAR

That’s why I wanted to tell you about PLNAR. You see, what the developers have done with this iOS 11 app is think about why you might want to measure a room’s dimensions, and then visualize some of the other tasks you might find useful when you do. In the case of PLNAR, the app generates AR floor plans and then produces useful statistics (size in square feet, perimeters, precise dimensions) and lets you create PDFs you can use while planning your home or office decoration project.

PLNAR will be available for download for free in the App Store beginning Sept. 19, 2017. The app requires iOS 11 and is compatible with iPhone 6S and newer models.

One step forward

PLNAR seems to be a direct competitor to Survey, though the latter will be supplementing its measurement tools with a design visualization tool called Aspect. That tool will let you change items in your room.

Both apps are useful, but I do think this emerging new family of ARKit-powered home DIY apps have much more potential locked in. In future I imagine apps like these may provide:

  • The capacity to place items of furniture within the indoor map.
  • Built in links to building materials sites, enabling users to file accurate orders for their projects
  • VR identification to recognize objects (boilers, plumbing, whatever) and direct users to online product manuals for that part.
  • The capacity to sketch additions and changes you might want to make to the space – facilitating the planning of building home extensions.
  • I can even imagine planning regulations being rolled inside apps of this kind, in order that you will be told if one of your ideas is unlikely to gain permission to be built.

It remains interesting to reflect that one unanticipated result of Apple’s move to launch ARKit in iOS 11 may well end up being the creation of new tools to enable new adventures in architecture, home decorating, and DIY. I do wonder if any of the big DIY retailers are plotting anything?

Jonny Evans

Watching Apple since 1999. I don't say what they should do. I say what they might do. They sometimes do.

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