• Karen Abramyanc

Augmented Reality for Social Media

Updated: Mar 31, 2020

LightStream enables cinematic-quality CG graphics for mobile AR. Above images captured with the LightStream mobile app

Snapchat, Tik-Tok, Instagram and Facebook have all integrated robust AR technology into their social platforms to allow users to insert 3D graphics into 'selfies'. This has opened up a whole new world of interactive experiences that help drive user engagement on social media. AR filters or lenses are not only limited to selfies. They can also be inserted into the user's surrounding environment. User generated AR pics and selfies create endless possibilities for highly shareable viral content.

This AR magic demands a lot of performance from our mobile devices: Computer vision, tracking, AI and especially real-time rendering all take a toll on our device's battery and processor.

As a result (as is the case with other real-time uses), 3d graphics created for social media apps must remain relatively basic in terms of quality: No intricate geometry, complex materials or physically accurate lighting.

In short, a substantial trade-off between realism and performance needs to be made for these types of experiences to be possible.

In this comparison, the realism of the CG dragon (right) needs to be reduced by an order of magnitude in order to run on mobile devices (left)