We’ve already seen how ARKit is helping developers create some impressive augmented reality apps, from virtual tape measures and navigation to fun things like games. But it’s looking increasingly like we might see film-makers employing the technology to blend virtual characters with real ones.

We got a taste of this recently with a demo app replicating an 80s music video, and now indie game developer Duncan Walker has put somewhat frighteningly realistic robot soldiers onto the streets of London …

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Walker said that he created the robots with Unity3D, shot the street footage on his iPhone 7 and then used ARKit to blend the two. The low-res Twitter video spoils the effect somewhat, but you can still see that the result, as TNW notes, is extremely realistic.

The final effect is frankly nothing short of impressive. In fact, the rendered models appear to be authentic enough to pass as natural human movement: The shaky hand-held camera dynamics coincide almost perfectly with the movement of the robots […] While professionals might be able to spot some inconsistencies in light sources, this is hardly a nuisance to the untrained eye.

Walker notes that he will be applying directional light sources in his next experiment.

This is a technique which could potentially bring to budget film-makers the kind of effects which have so far been the preserve of the full-on CGI facilities used by the big studios.

The more demo apps I see created with ARKit, the more convinced I become that AR is going to be way more significant than VR – at least for the foreseeable future.

Watch the demo below.

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