Creativity

Expanding World AR Capabilities on Instagram

Target tracking technology enables creators to anchor AR experiences to real-world surfaces

By: Spark AR Team
November 25, 2019
Creativity

Expanding World AR Capabilities on Instagram

Target tracking technology enables creators to anchor AR experiences to real-world surfaces

By: Spark AR Team
November 25, 2019

In early 2018, we introduced target tracking, a capability that allows Spark AR effects to be anchored to static images, logos, signs, pictures — nearly any flat surface in the real world. Simply pointing the Facebook camera at an image triggers the AR effect.

Over the past year, we’ve seen the amazing potential of this capability, which is why we’re excited to extend target tracking to the Instagram camera too, enabling a much larger community of creators to begin exploring and building new types of world AR experiences. As part of today’s release of Spark AR Studio (v76), creators can begin using target tracking on Instagram effects immediately.

For brands, target tracking opens up new possibilities, including AR experiences tied to posters, packaging, billboards, displays and so much more. It also unlocks a new opportunity to connect with the billions of people who have Facebook and Instagram installed on their mobile phones, who can now engage with branded content in a new, more immersive way. Here are a few examples of brands successfully using target tracking today:

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Left to right: Berlin Wall Sehsucht & by @mate_steinfort; Stormland by @oculus; Cannes Lions by @cannes_lions

For creators, target tracking has a wide array of possibilities — especially when AR experiences can be anchored to everything from the expected surfaces, like digital art and print design pieces, to the unexpected, like outdoor walls, building surfaces and even flat objects, like playing cards. Here are a few examples of how creators are using target tracking:

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Daily Affirmation by @liannetokey; Card Tricks by @anonamister; Spark AR Logo by @codymesh

Our goal is to bring world AR to as many people as possible, which is why expanding target tracking to Instagram is an important milestone. We’re also making target tracking-enabled effects available across a wide range of high-to-lower-end mobile devices while still offering the best possible user experience. This will help ensure that users in any market can consistently access and enjoy Spark AR effects.

While today’s expansion of target tracking to Instagram is focused on static images, we’re actively working on additional functionality, like multi-target tracking and moving target tracking, all of which will help open up new possibilities when using Spark AR. Also, like all other Spark AR effects, brands and creators will be able to follow and analyze engagement with target tracking-enabled effects via the Insights tab on Spark AR Hub.

To learn more about creating AR effects that use target tracking, we have several resources in the Spark AR Learning Center to help, including our target tracking article, a new tutorial and best practices for choosing a good target image.

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