Facebook Leaps Headfirst into the AR Market | Rick GarsonBrands with automatic messaging bots can now use Facebook’s AR effects to encourage potential clients to buy, using Facebook’s “shoppable” lenses. With the technology, bots can show customers virtual applications of makeup, the wear of a new pair of tennis shoes, or the view of the road from the driver’s seat of a brand new car.

Facebook has integrated some AR features to transform its messenger into an engagement mechanism, where companies can interact with those who’ve previously interact with the brand via one’s News Feed. Among the companies that will employ AR are Asus, Sephora, Nike, and KIA. However, there are many more that will be experimenting with augmented reality very soon.

The use of augmented reality is the next natural step in advertising, particularly as the American public ventures away from brick-and-mortar stores. Rather than using traditional ads or billboards to court potential purchasers, augmented reality is being used to help buyers experiences products in a way that mimics the real world.

AR’s availability in Facebook’s News Feed, Instagram and Messenger means a great deal for commerce-oriented brand management, selfie filters (of course), and interaction with compelling and distinct virtual images. AR Studio is at the root of Facebook’s plan to dominate the AR market. The in-house tool simplifies the creation and distribution of AR content. The idea is that users will be able to create content by just dragging and dropping code, which could be a gamechanger for creatives and artists. AR Studio will compete with Apple’s ARKit and Google’s ARCore, and hopes to differentiate itself by moving toward computing that’s more visual and immersive than ever before.

Not only has Facebook advanced the messenger so that augmented reality can be a part of a brand experience, but they’ve also introduced a fully automated transition feature. Users benefit from real-time translations when communicating with individuals who speak other languages. That feature is limited, and it’s currently only available to U.S.-based English and Spanish user.

Facebook has long been on the road to occupy virtual and augmented spaces. Several years back, Facebook spent $2 billion on the virtual reality company Oculus, offering VR hardware and software. In a move to align the align Oculus with its parent company, the department once known as Oculus Research has been renamed “Facebook Reality Labs (FRL).” FRL has been “helping Oculus, and all of Facebook create trailblazing AR [augmented reality] and VR experiences, from what’s most affordable to leading edge.” He then described a future in which mixed-reality technologies will usher in “the second great wave of human-oriented computing,” according to  Oculus chief scientist Michael Abrash.

Facebook is poised to accomplish incredible AR goals.

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