While GOOG/AAPL/FB are all Tech Company, Facebook is social-first. Facebook offers an AR Studio, an integrated desktop app for developers to create AR experiences for the Facebook camera that are mostly forward facing.
Facebook Platform integrates facial expressions that trigger animation (e.g., raising eyebrows) and segmentation to separate people from the background (Think Green Screen). It should be noted that similar facial features are available in Snapchat Lens Studio, but it is reserved for brands and selected agencies (for now).
Then things became strange. While other technology giants are targeting creatives, Amazon is targeting businesses. The product is described as a solution to many of the logistical problems faced by global companies – expensive employee training, inefficient training simulations, and field productivity.
Sumerian’s real differentiator: it is “platform-independent”. You can run anything you build on Rift, Vive, iOS devices (also known as ARKit) and Android devices. This is possible because you work in the browser (thanks to WebGL). There is another feature worth mentioning: Hosts. Hosts are highly intelligent Sims characters. Consider them as avatars that guide you through an AR or VR experience. Customize their appearance, dialog-oriented user interface, and AI. You can be your guide, protagonist or trainer.
What real value can we expect?
As each AR platform evolves over time, it can be divided into different areas:
- Lifestyle, Utility, Retail und Entertainment: Apple ARKit und Google ARCore
- Social Content: Snapchat Lens Studio und Facebook AR Studio
- Business-Services: Amazon Sumerian
ARKit and ARCore with integrated light estimation, fast processing speeds and surface detection – are perfect for turning your home into an exhibition space, taking measurements or solving crazy 3D puzzles.
Lens and AR Studio – with built-in social features – are great for making shared content even more accessible.
Finally, Amazon Sumerian – with its integration into the AWA ecosystem – is a solution for companies looking to enter AR/VR.
There are obvious use cases, but some of them are designed to put the possibilities in the hands of the developers. In other words, there’s nothing to say that you can’t create a social application in ARKit. This means that with enough design, programming and marketing know-how, you can bring it to life on almost any platform.
Remember when the Internet of Things attracted a lot of attention. In the beginning it was practical, then the credit cards connected to the Internet etc. came.