Augmented reality — better known as AR — is quickly becoming a part of our everyday lives, mainly through the apps we use the most. The most recent app to take the plunge into the world of future tech? Facebook's Messenger, which on Dec. 12 announced a brand-new AR-focused feature: World Effects. Now, instead of just sending your loved ones a static image or standard video, you can spice up your messages with 3D objects that can be dropped anywhere in the vicinity of the camera in your device.
"World Effects technology enables you to drop 3D objects into your surroundings to capture and share fun moments with your family and friends," the Facebook post announcing the new feature reads. "For example, add a 3D heart floating over someone's head and then try panning your phone's camera from side to side. Or use an arrow to point to an exact object or location in a panorama so your friend knows what you're referring to. Or better yet, add a new fun, celebratory robot to an otherwise every-day setting and spice things up a bit. (Hint: be sure to try the robot out with your phone's volume turned up — the robot plays three different kinds of music!)"
To get started with World Effect, simply open the camera in your Messenger app and scroll to the type of 3D image you'd like to drop in the scene — currently, you can choose from a heart, an arrow, a robot, several different word bubbles, and a unicorn — and then tap your screen to let it loose on the world. And here's a hot tip: there's no easier way to let a long-distance friend or family member know you're thinking about them than by sending them a video message (complete with 3D objects and all!) this holiday season — and if you're already messing around with Messenger, why not take the opportunity to have a little fun with it?