Facebook has been dabbling in AR technology for some time now, and in the latest initiative, the social media giant has started testing the AR feature in a closed beta with respect to the forthcoming movies “Ready Player One” and “Wrinkle in Time”.

The Facebook app’s inbuilt camera is being used to track markers on movie posters, and these special glyphs, in turn, are triggering and anchoring AR overlays like a giant animated robot, special screen effects, and flowers which appears to be emerging from 2D advertisements.

Facebook has already worked with object detection based free space AR concepts like face filters and other solutions in the past. But in the test version, the marker-based system is providing a real-world lattice onto which digitally generated graphics can be applied, making it an upgrade over all the previous attempts.

In the future, we believe AR will be in the world all around us. Rather than the ephemeral capture and share’ sessions we see today, AR will sit in a hidden data layer that you access through your devices — phones today, glasses tomorrow. Your phone is the magnifying glass that is allowing you to peer past your reality into a hidden experience locked (key word) to a place or object in the world around you. It’s the transition from experiences being ephemeral to them being persistent. It is made more powerful by the fact that the AR now has immediate context because it is directly relevant to place or target where you are. – Matthew Simari, Facebook Camera product manager

Facebook will demonstrate the AR feature this weekend with posters advertising “Ready Player One” at SXSW, and its future plan includes incorporating the function into its AR Studio, a set of development tools for app makers.