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Facebook introduces VR Spaces, AR camera effects at F8

21 April 2017, 12:03 | Marlene Myers

In his keynote speech at F8, Facebook's developer conference, Mark Zuckerberg, founder and chief executive, said the company is building an open platform where anyone can build augmented reality features for cameras in Facebook's range of apps, which include Messenger, Instagram and Whatsapp. Facebook is opening up its AR platform so developers can make use of things like image recognition without having to invest in the costs for the technology themselves. Users can choose a photo from their Facebook profile to create their customised VR identity in Spaces and then invite contacts to chat with them, watch 360 videos or create drawings.

The Stories feature in the Facebook app was just the first step, Zuck said, adding that Facebook has some big plans for the AR functionality.

Facebook has tasked developers to contribute to the augmented reality image filters and interactive experiences to its new Camera Effects platform.

"I used to think that glasses were going to be the first mainstream augmented reality platform and that we would get them maybe 5-10 years from now in the form factor that we want".

The new app, Facebook Spaces, lets current Facebook users interact with each other in virtual reality environments, as long as they have an Oculus Rift virtual reality headset.

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Facebook signalled a major push into augmented reality and launched a VR app for communicating with friends at its F8 conference yesterday.

The Facebook boss described the previous rollout of camera functionality across all of Facebook's apps as "act one". Zuckerberg said new phone-based applications might let you create a three-dimensional scene from a single two-dimensional photo or splatter the walls of your house with colorful digital art.

Facebook is already allowing Live users to access effects created in the new tool. "We have a lot of work and we will keep doing all we can to prevent tragedies like this from happening", Zuckerberg said.



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