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(Pocket-lint) - Minecraft was announced a couple of weeks ago, but we hadn't seen it in action until Apple's WWDC keynote.

Mojang showed how new features coming with Apple ARKit 3.0 will be used with the forthcoming augmented reality game during an on-stage demo. And one - people occlusion - will be available on iOS exclusively.

Basically, Minecraft Earth gives fans the opportunity to create Minecraft builds and overlay them onto the real world - either solo or with friends.

Others can then come and interact with the worlds, by using their own smartphones or tablets.

Both iOS and Android are supported but, thanks to Apple's proprietary people occlusion feature, only iOS device owners will be able to put each other inside the Minecraft builds.

People occlusion enables AR apps to recognise and automatically "cut-out" a person - understanding where they are in the 3D environment so virtual objects can appear in-front or behind them as needed. It can therefore place people inside entire virtual worlds without any extra coding on a developer's part.

As an example, Mojang showed one of its employees building and interacting with a Minecraft creation from within. The software also includes real-time motion capture, so when the person moves, so does their in-game avatar.

This works well in Minecraft Earth, based on the WWDC demo, and is not coming to the Android version, we were told. We can't wait to go hands-on with the game ourselves.

It is due later this year, with Microsoft saying it is likely to reveal more during E3 2019.

In the meantime, you can read more about the game here: Minecraft Earth update: Release date, formats and all you need to know about the AR game.

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Writing by Rik Henderson. Originally published on 3 June 2019.