Facebook has been making impressive strides in the field of Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR). At Facebook’s F8 developer conference this year, all Mark Zuckerberg did was discuss Augmented Reality (AR).
For the past few months, Facebook has released camera features for all of their applications. This was apparently Stage 1 of their AR roadmap. In stage 2, Facebook is bringing the developers into the picture. They are opening up their AR platform to developers, who can now build their own AR experiences there.
This is huge!
The Facebook platform will take care of the basic groundwork. It includes detecting the users’ face, body parts, and gestures. Basically, it will do all the heavy lifting, and developers can use this opportunity to create exciting augmented reality apps.
Zuckerberg also talked about making the humble smartphone camera the first mainstream AR platform. Precise location, 3D effects, and object identification are all that is required for the technology. In his words, “Think about how many other things we have in our lives that actually don’t need to be physical, they can be digital. And think about how much better and more affordable and accessible they are gonna be when they are.” Here is how AR can change your life.
• Enhancing Existing Objects
A primitive version of how AR can enhance your reality can be seen in the way face masks work. But, what Facebook is working towards may just change the whole AR game altogether.
Imagine yourself waiting at the airport, and the smartphone transforming your reality into an interactive game. They are talking about 3D augmented reality that has the power to upgrade what is real. This is how AR can make the mundane, fun. All you need is your smartphone.
• Displaying Information
Just imagine how cool it would be to go to the Pyramids of Giza and all the information about the pyramids are displayed right on them. Visiting any new place will be so much fun. It will be such an amazingly rich experience.
With more and more augmented reality apps, you are never going to need another city guide, or help with directions, ever.
• Adding Digital Objects
And that is absolutely true. A board game may cost $50, but with an augmented reality app, you can have your very own digital version for just $1 or even for free. You can even add friends to your games. The best part is – you can play it anywhere, anytime, and you do not need to pack it up and carry everywhere. It will be available whenever you need it, wherever you need it.
When you have an AR app, you will never want any other screen. You do not have to spend another penny on television, tablets, or anything else.
Facebook’s AR studio is now open to developers and will be playing a big role in making all of this a reality. AR is everything that sci-fi movies from the 80s and 90s promised. This is indeed a really exciting time for developers. The social media and chatting apps of Facebook already have AR functionalities in some capacity. Will Facebook be able to convince its users to make use of the AR technology?
This is a question that only time can answer.