Facebook's Vision on Reality
Raquel Nash | April 20, 2017, 5:34
Facebook's Vision on Reality
The company's chief executive Mark Zuckerberg used the company's F8 2017 event in San Jose, Calif., this week to highlight a mainstream AR platform that offers users a way to view and digitally manipulate the physical world around them through their smartphone cameras.
At Facebook's F8 annual developer conference, Facebook and Snapchat's cold war heated up. Zuckerberg said Facebook eventually could provide thousands of choices.
"While the announcement seems pretty innocuous, make no mistake: Facebook is, once again, putting itself into direct competition with Google and Apple, " he said.
While it's sunk billions into virtual reality ventures via Oculus, social networking giant Facebook was all about augmented reality at its F8 conference this week.
But as such opportunities go, there are many platforms on which developers can place their bets. He also said that Facebook isn't anxious about "no innovation" allegations and defended copying Snapchat by saying that it was the ground work for Facebook's Camera Effects Platform for developers.
'That's where the magic of virtual reality comes in. Previously, Facebook had been focused strongly on virtual reality as the next big computing platform, particularly using Rift headgear made by its Oculus unit.
New integrations with Facebook's Workplace offering are also aimed at making it easier for users to collaborate using third-party applications such as Microsoft Office, Box, or Salesforce. In a blog post, Facebook's head of social VR, Rachel Franklin said "we'll add new features as we learn from your feedback and continue exploring what makes social VR experiences most meaningful".
Facebook also announced improvements to its Messenger platform to encourage the use of bots - a facility first unveiled past year.
Snapchat filters and Pokemon-Go are some examples of visual tampering.
Mr Zuckerberg went on to introduce new plans to include augmented reality experiences in Facebook apps, such as Messenger.
Apart from Camera Effects platform, new Facebook Spaces VR app was also announced alongside Developer Circles, a community-driven program that's free to join and open to any developer.
You can draw in the air with a virtual marker to create anything you can dream up, from a decorative hat to a handmade tic-tac-toe board.
"That's going to help us make our physical reality better". He also said that he isn't anxious about people's perception of Facebook being a copycat. It's a one-off application that was custom built for a single goal that neither end-users nor developers can leverage to author and build their own augmented reality experiences and applications.
Facebook also added a Discover tab to its Messenger home screen where users can find categories of chat bots, recently used bots, trending bots and a search field.
Messenger will also let people chat with outside businesses as a group. Smart Replies will help Facebook Pages to respond most FAQs in a more convenient way while Hand-over Protocol is a new way for businesses to work with multiple developers for different experiences on Messenger.