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Augmented reality (AR) is a unique way to engage with your surroundings enabling you to view your physical, real-life environments in an altered manner. More specifically, AR uses computer generated images and overlays them over a user’s view of the real world, which ultimately enhances perception of reality. Some common forms of AR are the famous photo selfie filters on Snapchat. These filters allow users to snap a photo of themselves and then add a variety of accessories, varying from cat ears to heart eyes.

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And this week, Snapchat has paired up with Clio Awards to create the very first augmented reality creative award.

Snapchat and Clio Awards

Snapchat has been incorporating AI for a long time now and according to the platform itself, 70 million Snapchatters play around with AR experiences every day for an average of three minutes. Advertisers have been including Snapchat’s AR ads in their marketing strategies.

Clio Awards is an international competition aimed at celebrating high-quality achievement in advertising. This year, Clio Awards and Snapchat have created a Snapchat Specialty Award. Entries must include an application of AR in an advertising campaign to encourage and motivate users on the Snapchat platform.

But along with Snapchat, Facebook is also doing work around augmented reality.

Facebook’s ‘DensePose’ Project

According to a recent Facebook blog post, the platform says they are working on creating new types of AR and VR tools to help increase the possible ways of using AR. Specifically, they have open sourced their “DensePose” database which outlines how Facebook plans to map out still images and turn them into augmented reality. While already being able to recognize individual people and objects, DensePose focuses on understanding human movement through depth within each frame.

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The social platform has decided to make the DensePose database, along with all the coding, open to make the research more accessible while bringing researchers and developers within the AR, computer graphics and computer vision fields closer together. The platform also hopes to create a form of AR that goes beyond what’s already here.

“Imagine trying new clothes on via a photo, or putting costumes on your friend’s photos,” says Facebook – now wouldn’t that be cool!

Both Facebook and Instagram are pushing the envelope for augmented reality but what does this mean for marketers and communicators? We all know AR can be a fun experience, but how can brands capitalize on it? As AR evolves, organizations have the opportunity to create original AR content – providing their audience more opportunity to engage.

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