April 26, 2018

Facebook's AR Studio is now open to all third-party developers

14 December 2017, 04:14 | Rudolph Thomas

Apps & Software Image Source Facebook

Facebook Messenger AR

Called World Effects, this feature allows users to drop 3D objects using the rear camera and augmented reality, much like augmented reality features in Snapchat.

So Facebook is effectively racing against not just Snapchat in this field, but Apple and Google as well, both of which have launched their own AR platforms in addition to baking it new AR features within their respective mobile apps and services.

Facebook's AR technology also faces the hurdle of its self-imposed "walled garden" approach. With this new feature, Facebook is trying to make Messenger as fun as possible during the holiday season, while keeping it competitive with the likes of Snapchat and others.

"We're going to make the camera the first mainstream augmented reality platform", said Zuckerberg when launching Camera Effects.

The new feature will allow you to place 3D objects in your photos, making them appear like it is part of the real world. By opening up its toolkit to developers, Facebook is hoping to take advantage of Snap's reticence to work with third parties.

In order to add a "World Effect", a user would need to open the Messenger Camera from inside the conversation thread and then scroll to choose from the camera effects.

Messenger has multiple stickers including a heart, robot, arrow, and you can also put up word bubbles like "love", "bae", "heart" and "miss you" on the live camera feed. Meanwhile, Apple's ARKit and Google's ARCore give developers an alternative way to build AR into their own apps at the operating system level rather than having to piggyback on Facebook. Facebook is now rolling out World Effects to all of its users around the world. When you move your camera around, the World Effect will stay in the same location. Developers have built animated frames, masks and interactive experiences for augmented reality. Whichever app offers the most and best experiences will be the one people wave in the air to see what's hidden out of view.

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