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economyFood UPTrends“Flick”: how Facebook invented a unit of time

Fabiola Fiorentino Fabiola Fiorentino2 years ago4 min


A new unit of time called a ‘flick’ has been devised by Christopher Harvot from the Facebook team dedicated to “social virtuality.” The term is a combination of ‘frame’ and ‘tick’, and refers to 1/705,600,000 of a second: longer than a nanosecond but shorter than a microsecond.

It’s a revolution that’s more technical than physical, and it will let  video game developers and designers of marketing campaigns create clear and intuitive content, and streamline the production process. Here’s a look at how it works and how it will change our virtual experience.

Flick, a unit of time for virtual reality

At the heart of the idea was the need to create a standard parameter for making audio/video content based on the average speed of visualization: so for film it’s 24 frames per second, 120 hertz for tv or 44.1 KHz for audio sample rate.

It’s no coincidence that the team that developed the Flick is the same that deals with Oculus headsets. In fact, Facebook’s goal is to represent a frame with no approximations: a round number that’s easily divided. One 24th of a second will equal 29,400,000 flicks instead of a repeating fraction.

What’s the future of flicks?

With the flick experiment, audio and video content will be more clear, innovative and harmonious. Facebook – owner of Oculus since 2014 – unsurprisingly found flicks to be a way to simplify the creative process for visual effects in film, tv and video games. Flicks make it possible to remove errors and imprecisions while playing video and audio.

Now it just remains to be seen what further developments happen in virtual reality, to see if flicks will dominate the 3D headset sector and the platform itself.

Fabiola Fiorentino

Fabiola Fiorentino

Dott.ssa in Comunicazione, web editor e food blogger per passione. Scopro e condivido le mie idee attraverso la scrittura creativa: il mio ponte tra spirito e realtà.

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