As Apple, Google, Snap, and Facebook wrestle for positioning to lure developers and creators to build augmented reality experiences for their respective tools, Facebook is looking at a learning approach for its Spark AR platform.
On Tuesday, the Spark AR team launched a new series of online learning courses that are aimed at novices looking to jump into the AR field feet first as well as experienced developers and creators seeking to sharpen their skills.
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Available through the Facebook Blueprint training platform, the first course in the Spark AR Curriculum is Spark AR Foundations, which aims to bring beginners up to speed with AR development on the platform.
The course consists of three parts. The first course, "Introduction to Augmented Reality," covers the basics of AR design, the different segments in the field, and how the technology is applied. The second course is called "Create Augmented Reality with Spark AR Studio" and guides the audience into working with the software to create AR experiences. Finally, "Manage AR Effects" addresses publishing the completed projects to Facebook and Instagram and tracking engagement through Spark AR Insights.
"As we dig into another exciting new year of possibilities for the Spark AR platform, one area of investment we will continue to prioritize is education and training, to help AR creators, at any level, build their skills, advance their careers and if they choose, pursue more creator-for-hire opportunities," said the Spark AR team in a blog post.
There's no cost to attend, but you will need to sign in with a Facebook account to participate.
While Apple and Google have provided ARKit and ARCore, respectively, to enable developers to build AR experiences into their mobile apps, Snap's Lens Studio and Facebook's Spark AR are pitched as easy-to-use tools, with little or no coding knowledge needed, to built AR effects for their respective apps.
Facebook's educational approach seeks to lower the barrier for entry even further with in-depth guidance on the platform.
Meanwhile, Snap has begun paying influencers for their viral content via its Showcase program, which, in turn, provides AR creators an avenue for drawing income by creating content with their innovative AR effects.
Clearly, the companies view these efforts as worthwhile investments for creators to craft content that brings the users that are so lucrative for their apps. As the mobile AR landscape is just beginning to truly unfold, it looks like these are just the opening salvos of what is turning into a major AR platform war, with end-users winning, whichever platform ends up in the lead.