Google is rolling out advanced AR effects to YouTube Stories

Stories is one of the most widely used features these days. Facebook, Snapchat, WhatsApp and Instagram are the some of the popular platforms offering this feature. In fact Instagram Stories now has 400 million daily active users. The immense popularity of the feature has pushed various other companies to bring in this feature to their platforms including YouTube.

YouTube rolled out its Reels feature last year and now it wants to make it stand out of the crowd by adding advanced AR effect tools to it.

“To make all this possible, we employ machine learning (ML) to infer approximate 3D surface geometry to enable visual effects and ML Pipeline for Selfie AR,” Artsiom Ablavatski and Ivan Grishchenko, Research Engineers, Google Artificial Intelligence (AI), wrote in a blog post on Friday.

According to the blog post, Google will use improved “anchoring” process with the new AR effects to make them look more real and responsive. The company says that it uses a unique set of technologies “that can track the highly dynamic surface geometry across every smile, frown or smirk.”

” To make all this possible, we employ machine learning (ML) to infer approximate 3D surface geometry to enable visual effects, requiring only a single camera input without the need for a dedicated depth sensor. This approach provides the use of AR effects at realtime speeds, using TensorFlow Lite for mobile CPU inference or its new mobile GPU functionality where available. This technology is the same as what powers YouTube Stories’ new creator effects, and is also available to the broader developer community via the latest ARCore SDK release and the ML Kit Face Contour Detection API.”

YouTube Stories hasn’t been rolled out to everyone yet so it is yet to be seen how exactly will the Google’s new AR effects change Stories. Google says that it will enable you to add animated masks, glasses, 3D hats and more to your selfies.

Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat already support AR filters for Stories on their platforms. YouTube launched the Stories feature last year but only to prominent creators. Much like the Stories in other apps, you can add text, music, filters, stickers, and more to your YouTube story. To create a story, open the YouTube mobile app, tap on the video camera icon, and select “Create Story.”