Apple has a new development framework that can be used to turn your iPhone into an autonomous pet tracking camera. According to documentation on Apple’s website, developers can use pet tracking features with motorized phone stands to capture and follow your pet around your house while you’re away.
As Apple notes, developers can achieve this using a new framework called DockKit, which can create a “photo and video experience” while the iPhone is mounted on a motorized stand. Developers can then use something called the Animal Body Pose API (application programming interface), which is able to identify and track animals with your phone’s camera. It can also identify the pet’s posture, including whether your pet is sitting, standing or begging for food.
By combining DockKit with the Animal Body Pose API, Apple says developers can create apps that “automatically track objects in live video in a 360-degree field of view, take direct control of pose to customize framing, directly control motors and provide your own inference model to track other objects.” To be clear, pet tracking isn’t an official iOS 17 feature that’s being shipped by Apple, but the company is giving developers the tools they need to to build and launch their own iPhone-powered pet cameras. Apple plans to go into more detail about all of this in an upcoming session at its Worldwide Developers Conference.