Get Ready Now for the AR Future

Cloud communications platform Twilio has unveiled some interesting new capabilities that will enable multi-user augmented reality (AR) as part of its existing Programmable Video platform.

In the past, AR apps have been built for a single user due to the complexity of implementing a collaborative/shared experience. In order to connect multi-user voice and video to an AR app, developers first needed to solve rather complex and complicated audio and video routing and streaming issues, as well as data-synchronization -- and do so in real-time.

Twilio hopes to solve these problems by enabling developers to create new kinds of augmented reality apps thanks to its new Twilio DataTrack API, which shares metadata between endpoints without needing to establish a separate communication channel, its Media Sync API (which lets developers synchronize AR metadata with real-time media), along with the company's existing media server infrastructure. The platform's new capabilities in Twilio's Programmable Video platform work alongside AR capabilities such as Apple's ARKit and Google's ARCore.

"Augmented reality is completely transforming the way we understand and interact with the world around us, especially in terms of remote collaboration," said Rob Brazier, director of product for Twilio's Programmable Video platform.

"Imagine if the next time you called your cable company, you could simply show them a video of the flashing lights on your cable box and they could instantly know what's wrong, and then guide you through the process of wiring it up correctly by overlaying the correct cabling on-screen in your physical space. The prospects for improving remote support and sales conversations is incredible."