On April 18-19, 2017 at the annual Conference F8 Mark Zuckerberg presented the results of his team that shook the development society. For those who aren’t on the ball, we are glad to introduce the Facebook Camera Effects Platform. If you have heard something about it but don’t understand what advantage the system can bring to you and your business, this article is definitely for you. Let us tell you about the opportunities that the Camera Effects Platform offers and how to use the platform to develop an awesome app using the new technologies.
What is Camera Effects Platform?
Before all else, let’s get closer to the subject and clarify what the Camera Effects Platform is and what it is needed for.
Camera Effects Platform is a set of tools that allow developers to use the camera as an AR platform. Mark Zuckerberg saw huge potential here because now almost everyone has a smartphone with a good camera and enough processing capacity to work with AR technologies (thank you, Mark!). Earlier, we believed that only VR goggles are capable of this.
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The platform itself is two branches, AR Studio and Frame Studio. They provide instruments to create the simplest frames and the most complex interactive effects.
Frame Studio is an application that allows anyone who has a profile in Facebook to create unique photo frames and share them with friends. To use it, you don’t need any extra permissions or coding skills. The interface of the program is really very simple, so even a kid can have fun with it.
AR Studio is a much more sophisticated piece of software. Facebook AR Camera Effects studio provides an ability to create animated frames, masks, and effects and combines them with video. In many ways it is similar to Snapchat, however, Facebook Augmented Reality Studio is an open source platform. Which means that any developer who gets access to it, can use the platform in his or her projects for their own good. So far, there is only a closed beta version. To get access to the platform you need to apply. We don’t know the criteria for selecting candidates but we hope that in the future the access will be free.
Who can use Camera Effects Platform? Well, practically everyone. As for Facebook Frame studio, there are no limits to the access, it’s already available and can be used by anyone to create his or her own unique frame (some artistic skills would be nice to have unless you want to scare your friends.). AR Studio is different. Let’s hope that soon everything will change. The tools can make designers and artists’ lives easier. As well as that, the platform allows developers to create fantastic AR effects, based on this studio.
Camera Effects Platform features
Let’s start with Frame Studio. Among the obvious features (to create a frame, for example) let’s take a look at some new things that the Facebook development team offers us.
Frame Studio platform
Easy to use
Anyone can create a frame (after it has been approved by the administration of Facebook). Plus, a user can create it in a browser.
You can pin a frame to a particular place and set time frames of it's usage. What it means is that the frame would be available when a user is in a place you mentioned and at a particular time.
Of course, the Frame Studio isn’t as interesting as the AR Studio. It is much more powerful and gives lots of opportunities to developers. Here are some of them:
AR studio platform
You can create effects that react to facial expressions and environment.
Developers can also create features that react to comments or actions while streaming live video.
Lots of instruments
Various effects help to take a viewer deeper into a reality that you create. They are more than just frames. Here you’ll find lots of stickers, effects, masks and so on.
Ability to express yourself
A set of effects for designers and artists can help them express what they feel at a particular moment.
Virtual text on real objects
The ability to augment real objects with virtual information is a feature that attaches texts to a particular real object. Moreover, there are lots of prints and styles of texts that you can leave near or on an object.
Virtual objects in real world
The ability to add new objects to a real world. For instance, you can see how a sofa that you like in a shop would look in your drawing room.
Rebuild real objects
The ability to add new objects to an existing one. A great feature for games, where a real cup can be “rebuilt” into a fortress.
The Platform also offers Face Tracker, access to sensors (GPS) and Scripting API, which provides data from other apps and much more.
Business opportunities with Camera Effects Platform
Camera Effects app platform can become a pot of gold for those who understand all the opportunities it gives. The biggest benefit of the platform is that it doesn’t require any additional expensive hardware to use. Actually, it’s vice versa. The platform works on a piece of hardware that almost everyone already has. On a smartphone! Which means that you can use all the opportunities of the Camera Effects Platform without any extra expenditures.
Let’s see how businesses can take advantage of the Frame Studio, at first:
Frame Studio business opportunities
You can also encourage users to create the best photo frame for your company or brand and then choose one, rewarding the winner.
If you create a frame, designed in the colours and style of your company brand, you can improve brand awareness and users’ engagement. For instance, your users can take a selfie with your photo frame and post it in social media for a reward, a discount or bonuses. To make it even more fun, you can pin your frame in a particular place, only for a short period of time.
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With AR camera Studio, your business can do much more. There are thousands of ways you can benefit with it. Let’s take a look at some of them:
AR Studio business opportunities
With the feature to add notes to real objects, you can allow customers of your restaurant (or a cafe or a bar) to leave comments on the walls of your place, so everyone can read how others rated you. It is a new fun way to engage users to participate.
Just like comments, the notes on walls or the ground can help people to get to a particular place, like your office or cafe. It would also be great to use this feature for quizzes, where customers have to find a place or an object with the help of tips “left” on the walls or floor.
How cool would it be to come to a restaurant and see the menu on a table? A customer can choose a language and you don’t need to print a set of new books every month or so.
Museums and art galleries can use the technology to place notes near articles, to tell their origin and history. Or, an art gallery can come to a customer’s apartment or anywhere a person wants to see it via their camera on a smartphone.
Imagine, that there is no need for manuals and instructions. A person who bought an appliance can see how to use it with the help of his camera, at the moment he points it at a device.
You can create an app where a wife can leave virtual notes on a fridge and an alert on her husband’s phone to check it before leaving for work. An app where a man can leave his love confession on the ground near a house where the girl lives and send her a notification to check it (great way to save community property, by the way).
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Virtual objects and devices
Virtual objects added to the real world is not new to us. IKEA, a company that sells furniture and everything for homes, already uses this feature. After downloading the IKEA app, users can “fit” the pieces of furniture they like in their homes. With the new Facebook Camera Effects Platform, everyone will have a chance to add the same feature to their apps. And it is not only about furniture. Mark Zuckerberg offered to create a virtual TV app where people can watch virtual TV everywhere they want, instead of buying real expensive devices.
Games, that already use VR technologies but work only with goggles, soon will be available to anyone who has a smartphone.
The platform can be used in educational apps. For instance, a medical student can perform surgeries on virtual patients. Different simulators would also work great.
Tourists agencies now can show all the views of a place a person wants to visit on an office table.
Computer vision recognizes objects and faces, reacts to their changes and changes VR with it. Moreover, 3D masks that cover face and moves with it allows users to create such effects as virtual makeup. Imagine, you can try on something from a shop sitting at home or see how you would look with another hair colour and length and much more.
Lots and lots of ideas can be applied based on the technology so generously offered by Mark Zuckerberg and his development team. Every AR effect that only chosen ones could use is now available to anyone. All spheres and all industries can use it. Now, everyone has a chance to create an awesome application with such great technologies which will only improve in the future. Yes, at the moment access to the platform is limited, however, it will change soon. Don’t miss your chance to be a pioneer. Write us, and share your idea. Let’s create the future together!
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