News

Facebook just invented a new unit of time

As if we didn't already know the service is taking over the world, it's now figured out its own unit of measurement

Heard of the Facebook Flick? You may well become very familiar with it soon. It's a new time unit, created to measure that individual frame duration of video frame rates.

 

A new way to tally time

How much is a Flick? Well, according to Facebook's GitHub page, it's 1/705,600,000 of a second - or “the smallest time unit which is LARGER than a nanosecond".

Why use it? It's a way of ensuring your video is in sync, while using integers instead of relying on decimal points. That equalises the measurement whether your video is 24hz or 120hz (or anywhere in between).

This is important for designing visual effects in CGI - in C++ for instance, time is currently measured in nanoseconds, which don't divide evenly between frame rates. Flicks offer an alternative that Facebook claims makes calculations easier.

It's going to be interesting to see how many people who work in video actually start incorporating Flicks as units in their video syncing, and if Flicks will become an industry-wide standard. Stay tuned to find out.

[Source: The Verge]