Tech Report: Facebook believes future is augmented reality

Facebook launched the first augmented reality platform at its annual developers conference, opening up the ability to create new content using the smartphone's camera.

Launching today in a closed beta, Facebook believes its Camera Effects platform will be able to utilize smartphones as the next step in augmented reality. "But when you look around at all of the different cameras that are out there today, no one has built a platform yet". However, in addition to Spaces and the focus on augmented reality, Facebook showed some love to the developers. Or any company. Because in this new era, Facebook isn't just hooking you to a feed full of news and baby pictures that you might check dozens of times a day. It will also allow them design effects for Facebook Live broadcasts that respond directly to what's happening during the broadcasts in real time. "This is the communications medium we use today for good and bad", Jackson said.

Another example is if you're at a celebration, like New Year's Eve or a birthday party.

Let's not forget that the creator of these filters is Snapchat and Facebook just seems to be hopping on the caravan.

This is where things start to get a little insane, and potentially creepy for sensitive people.

More than 4,000 developers from around the world were expected to attend the company's conference on Tuesday and Wednesday. The options are basically limitless.

Facebook announced some big changes. It already knows about numerous places you hang out, news you read, and things you like. In the end, this information will be used to send more targeted ads directly to you.

Facebook also launched a virtual world, called Facebook Spaces, created to let users of its Oculus Rift VR headset hang out with their friends wherever they might be.




The feature builds off Facebook's "Act 1", according to Zuckerberg - which included a widespread implementation of Snapchat-like "stories." Nike made an augmented reality app that can track stats on a run and share the results.

Peter Buchroitner, CEO of Swell, a 15-person startup with offices in Vienna, Austria, and Santa Monica, CA, was excited that the company had launched tools that make it easier for developers to get their chatbots on the Messenger platform.

[Image: Facebook] These science fictions are becoming reality thanks to Facebook.

Zuckerberg ended his keynote address by noting that all of these effects will take a while to roll out, rather than showing up dramatically overnight. Standard effects already used on other apps such as face masks, style transfers etc. will be available from the start.

Eventually, he said, people would use augmented reality on eyewear, although he did not give any details about possible Facebook hardware.

Even Zuckerberg admits that this could take a while to get off the ground. It went to great lengths to keep third-party developers from building unofficial apps that could save images sent through the service, executives told Backchannel in 2015, citing privacy concerns. "Your experience won't change dramatically overnight", he said during his speech. Over the past decade, Facebook has gone from a single website where people play Farmville to a public company that also owns Instagram, Oculus and What'sApp.

The growing importance of mobile Internet access was demonstrated with Facebook's strong earnings released last week.

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