Facebook is trying to close the augmented reality gap with Snapchat with the help of an army of third-party developers. "We've been continuously advancing the capabilities of the platform, with improved face tracking, new graphics capabilities, better scripting, and now world effects", Ficus Kirkpatrick, Facebook's director of engineering, said in a statement.
Before the release, about 2,000 different developers and brands had been experimenting with the technology. Previously, Facebook implemented AR features where users were able to wear these virtual masks or use some sorts of filters using their camera as well. Facebook's copy of Snapchat's World Lenses - that augment your environment with 3D objects rather than just your selfies.
Augmented reality - better known as AR - is quickly becoming a part of our everyday lives, mainly through the apps we use the most. Snapchat does support some basic frames and works with a few artists, but it hasn't built out a full developer platform. "This is only the beginning, and we can't wait to see how creators bring art to life through AR Studio". Developers will be able to use it to create 3D digital objects that can be placed into images, both on surfaces and in ways that allow for interactions within physical space. The first set of world effects include a floating heart, an arrow, and a 3D robot and unicorn, as well as word bubbles with predetermined messages like "love", "heart", and "miss you". Facebook Stories, where Camera Effects content is typically shared, hasn't taken off the way Instagram Stories has. This means that Facebook is now jumping into the AR racing amongst other giants like Google and Apple.
Access to Facebook's AR platform, called AR Studios, begins rolling out on Tuesday, and will take a couple of days before it's live to everyone, according to a company blog post.