THE SOCIAL NETWORK Facebook has said that it expects the smartphone to become the first mainstream augmented reality (AR) platform and is hoping that devs will help it to get a head start.
Kicking off the firm's annual F8 dev conference, just hours after Intel announced plans to scrap its yearly dev-focused event, Facebook CEO and Pokemon Go fan Mark Zuckerberg announced that the firm is opening up its AR platform.
AR Studio, which comprises of machine learning-powered face tracking, sensor data awareness and scripting APIs, allow developers to make use of Facebook's computing power to create experiences AR experiences without having to invest in the tech themselves, in turn giving Facebook a lead over Snapchat when it comes to mobile AR.
"I am confident now we are going to push this augmented-reality platform forward," Zuckerberg said, adding that the technology would eventually be incorporated into eyeglasses. "We are going to make the camera the first mainstream augmented-reality platform."
Zuckerberg imagines AR experiences breaking down into three major categories: augmenting objects in the physical world with additional information, layering virtual objects onto reality like a board game or a television, and enhancing objects that are already there with extra effects.
As if keen to ensure its users never go outdoors, Facebook also on Tuesday announced Spaces VR, a new app for the Oculus Rift and Oculus Touch that will allow friends to socialise virtually.
The app, available to download now in beta, lets you create a virtual version of yourself that can then enter socialise with your other friends sad enough to give it a go. In this fake world you ca play games, share photos, take a selfie, or do a video call with someone in the 'real' world.
Or you could just go to the pub. µ
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