From simple masks and photo filters to responsive and contextualized experiences, millions of people use augmented reality (AR) tools across Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and Portal. AR effects let us supplement the real world with the digital in creative, engaging ways. And today, Facebook is sharing our work with Tate — a Spark AR-powered exhibit created as part of Facebook’s broader AR/VR efforts — that transforms works of art to help people connect with different paintings and the stories behind them.
We worked closely with Tate, along with Facebook’s Creative Shop and The Mill, to reframe eight pieces at Tate Britain using the Spark AR platform, letting museum-goers view select pieces with more depth, context, and background than ever before. Using the Instagram camera, visitors simply scan the Tate’s Instagram name tag to activate the experience. From there, they’ll be greeted by a welcome message and a map to help them navigate their way to each of the eight AR-enhanced paintings.
The following pieces were selected based on the unusual or untold stories behind them, whether about the artist, subject matter, or historical context that may otherwise go unseen:
“Unlike traditional cameras, today’s smartphones have both immense computing power and an always-on connection to the internet — a combination that turns out to be profound,” explains Matthew Roberts, who heads up Spark AR. “More than just capture, this is a camera that can see. By tapping into a wealth of relevant data alongside AI and computer vision algorithms, we can help people learn and connect to the world around them in meaningful ways.”
Museums are among our most important cultural institutions, preserving art and history while also forming the backbone of many vibrant urban communities. Our partnership with Tate is a first step; we’re excited to continue exploring how AR can reframe museums and galleries to increase awareness and appreciation with new generations.
AR effects built on and distributed with the Spark AR Platform can help curators of real-world spaces deliver meaningful social, education, entertainment, and gaming AR experiences to their visitors. In the coming months, we’ll continue working with a variety of venues and locations to test different world-anchored AR experiences and demonstrate their real-world value. The potential of contextually-relevant AR is huge, and we’re excited to help more creators connect with new audiences in valuable ways.
This is the Spark AR description
Reality Labs brings together a world-class team of researchers, developers, and engineers to build the future of connection within virtual and augmented reality.