World of Tanks AR on iPad is Spectacular
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World of Tanks AR on iPad is Spectacular
21 September, 2018
News

80 Level had a chance to witness an awesome experimental project, showcasing some beautiful stuff tank battles in AR.

AR is obviously a very popular tech (so popular in fact, so might even consider it a gimmick), but few teams actually managed to make it a visual masterpiece we were originally expected. While Magic Leap seemed a bit disappointing, brave engineers from Wargaming are actually making a huge progress in AR with their cool new project, which the company showcased at Gamescom this year.

When we got into the room, we basically witnessed something, that some unprepared users might call magic. There’s an iPad hooked to a PC buzzing in the corner of the room. You target the screen on the table in the center and there immediately you see an epic battle going on. With all the recent technical improvements in World of Tanks, one hardly expects to see them all on a screen of a tablet. But there they are. There’s sparkling water, incredible, complex explosion, crisp high-resolution textures and beautiful lighting. Every piece of the demo almost screams quality, showcasing the best Big Engine can do.

And since we’re talking about AR, there’s more to the experience than simple spectating. You can walk around the room, looking into different parts of the scene, you can bring the tablet closer to the imaginary center to look at the details. It does feel very different. But how does it work?

World of Tanks AR Spectate uses proprietary local streaming technology to achieve highest-end PC graphics on an iPad. Apple’s ARKit helps to keep the AR 3D content rock-solid, stable and believable. At the core of this solution is “local cloud rendering”. PC does all rendering & sends that back to iPad as video, while the iPad works more like a mouse. ARKit for iOS and iPad sends its constant position/orientation to PC, and the in-game camera in World of Tanks on PC matches the iPad’s position/orientation. This way you can play around with image, choosing different angles and picking different spots on the map to look at. There’s no skybox, Wargaming made it all transparent. 

What’s the future for this technology? Well, so far it’s more of an experiment, which allows you to play with replays from World of Tanks only. But who knows, maybe next year Wargaming will find new amazing ways to use this tech.

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We stream high end result to hololens from Unity so imagine this through an AR HMD!