At one of the panels at last week’s Oculus Connect 6 conference, Facebook gave an update on its Spark AR platform, including some new applications for retail and shopping environments.
The panel, titled “Bridge Virtual and Real Worlds with AR”, started off with an introduction to Facebook’s perspective on AR now and in the future, centered around its Spark AR platform, and the ways in which the technology is being adopted.
“We’ve been looking to see if augmented reality can provide the experiences that resonate in actual reality,” said Matt Hanson, Spark AR Project Design Manager. “And we’re seeing pretty strong indications that it can.” Over 1 billion people have used AR experiences across a variety of Facebook platforms in the last year, including on Facebook itself, Instagram, Messenger and Portal.
“I love VR, but it’s difficult to get your content to a huge audience in an immersive way. But because AR and VR are so complimentary, we can exchange assets with relative ease, and by leveraging spark, you can now reach the eyeballs that you couldn’t without headsets.”
Although Hanson didn’t give extensive details, he announced that Spark AR will soon support “other exciting applications”, one of which is AR shopping. Hanson said that the service would facilitate being able to virtually try products through AR on a phone camera, without having to go to a physical shop to do so. The three examples he gave, pictured below, were being able to try sunglasses on, being able to try on makeup such as lipstick, and testing out what a piece of furniture would look like when placed in a room.
He also spoke about using Spark AR to create, implement and present AR experiences in places and spaces, such as a recent experience available to visitors at the Tate Britain museum in London.
How do you feel about trying on products through an AR camera service? Do you think it could replace the real thing? Let us know in the comments below.