Why Facebook, Google, And Snap Love AR—And What’s Coming Next
By Dan Tynan for Fast Company


The future will be augmented. The only question now is how we get there.

Excerpt from Fast Company:

“If you take one thing away from today,” Mark Zuckerberg announced in April from the stage of F8, Facebook’s annual conference for developers, “this is it: We’re making the [smartphone] camera the first augmented-reality platform.”

Facebook had already begun adding camera effects to its apps, letting users overlay objects, animations, and filters on their images—an unabashed knockoff of Snapchat’s popular AR-powered Lenses. With a new open platform where developers can create their own effects, art, and 3D games, Facebook is betting that it can become the go-to destination for AR experiences, a WeChat-like repository of third-party apps-within-its-apps.

After years of dormancy, the hype around AR is ratcheting back up. Beyond Facebook’s augmented ambitions (which include, down the road, a wearable device), there’s Google’s four-year-old Glass, Microsoft’s HoloLens, and the mysterious, well-funded Magic Leap—along with a rumored device from Apple. According to market research firm CB Insights, 49 AR companies have secured equity financing deals since last spring—a 75% increase from the 12 months prior.