Scanning Documents in iOS 11 with Notes and Augmented Reality

At WWDC Apple announced AR Kit for developers. In short, Apple is opening up a framework for developers of apps to easily create augmented reality apps. Tim Cook has spoken about augmented reality as one of the key technologies for the future. Even if you haven’t heard of augmented reality you’ve probably seen it before. One of the latest fads, Pokémon Go, is an example of augmented reality. Basically a device is able to superimpose digital items into the real world through the screen of a device. When you are playing Pokémon Go, you see the characters on the screen in the real world.

An example of a Pikachu sitting in the real world through your phone

One way Apple is integrating augmented reality in iOS 11 is through the new scanning feature of the Notes app. Previously scanning apps tried to detect edges through other means. You would have to setup your phone in good lighting, holding it over the document, steady, and shoot the picture. Depending on the quality of your picture you would have to detect the edges and if you took it at the wrong angle your document would look skewed.

Not so anymore. Below I took a picture from pretty far away and at an awkward angle to capture the scan.

Using Notes in iOS 11 to scan a document

With the technology of augment reality the phone is able to easily detect the edges of the document and make a scan of the document. Pretty impressive. Just as with other third party software I imagine other companies will implement a better scanning solution using the same technology. Apple usually releases a good basic version (mail, notes, scanning, reminders, etc) and then other companies build on that idea adding more features.

If you follow @madeiwthARKit on Twitter you will see tons of other cool ideas as well. This measuring app is particularly cool.

Scanned document from the earlier picture and if you’re ever in Louisville you have to go to Quills Coffee :)

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