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Wednesday, April 19, 2017
Facebook Outlines Its Strategy for Augmented Reality At F8 2017


Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg delivered the keynote address at Facebook's F8 Developer Conference on April 18, 2017 in San Jose, California, and laid out his strategy for augmented reality, saying the social network will use smartphone cameras to overlay virtual items on the real world.

Mark Zuckerberg opened the conference with a keynote about how the camera is the first mainstream augmented reality platform. People are already using the cameras on their phones to write text on images, add digital objects and modify existing things with face filters and style transfers. That?s why today Facebook announced the Camera Effects Platform, giving developers the power to build AR tools for the camera and bring people together in new ways.

Facebook is offering a suite of creative tools to give its community of artists and developers the power to create a full spectrum of effects for the new Facebook camera, from simple photo frames to interactive effects and masks using the latest in augmented reality technologies.

The Camera Effects Platform includes two products: Frames Studio and AR Studio. Frames Studio is an online creative editor, now available globally, that allows you to design frames that can be used either as profile picture frames or in the new Facebook camera. AR Studio, now open for beta applications, can be used to create masks, scripted effects, animated frames and other AR technologies that react to movement, the environment or interactions during Live videos.

Earlier today, Snap announced that it will also make it possible to overlay three-dimensional effects on a person?s surroundings.

Facebook Spaces

Facebook Spaces is a new VR app where you hang out with friends in an interactive virtual environment as if you were in the same room. Facebook Spaces is launching in beta for Oculus Rift today.

With Facebook Spaces, you can view Facebook content with friends in VR, including 360 videos and photos that can transport you to new places. 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. Facebook Spaces lets you easily phone a friend in the real world with Messenger video calling, so you can bring even more people into your VR space. They can answer your call on their phone to instantly open a window into your virtual world. Of course, there's a selfie stick too.

Developer Circles

Today Facebook also announced a new program for developers all over the world to connect, learn, and collaborate with other local developers. Developer Circles is a community-driven program that's free to join and open to any developer. Each Developer Circle is led by members of the local community who act as leads for the circle, organizing events offline and managing a local online Facebook community. Developer Circles are forums to share knowledge, collaborate, build new ideas and learn about the latest technologies from Facebook and other industry leaders.

Places Graph

Today Facebook launched the Places Graph, providing free access to data on more than 140 million places around the world. These places include everything from public spaces and parks, to restaurants, stores and other local businesses. The data includes place names, addresses, photos, Facebook consumer ratings and more. Apps can use this data to create location-aware experiences that help people learn more about where they are so they can make informed decisions about where to go and what to do.

Identity

If you have an app and a Messenger bot, Facebook has made it simpler for you to connect with the same person using both. A new API allows you to map between a Facebook Login ID and a Messenger ID, so you can serve your customers smoothly across both experiences.

Facebook Analytics

Facebook Analytics - formerly known as Facebook Analytics for Apps - is a free product for accessing rich audience demographics, and measuring customer behavior across channels. Today Facebook announced new capabilities designed to help you understand and optimize your complete customer journey across the channels you use to interact with customers, such as your app and website.

The new Automated Insights tool uses advanced machine learning and artificial intelligence to bring insights directly to you. With this new feature, you'll see insights such as changes in purchases for a new version of your app, or variations in engagement across people in different cities.

Messenger

Since the Messenger Platform debuted a year ago, it has become an essential channel for businesses, developers and consumers.

Some of the new features and advanced tools announced today include:

  • A new Discover tab that allows people to find the bot for Messenger they're looking for in a thoughtful way, right from the home screen in Messenger. Facebook has also enabled discovery in the physical world with new parametric Messenger codes. This gives people the option to scan Messenger Codes through the Messenger camera and link to their favorite brands and businesses.
  • Chat Extensions, which allow multiple people to chat with the same business at the same time. People can now add in a bot directly in a group thread and share the conversation.
  • Messenger's AI assistant, M, now offers the ability to order food through delivery.com. For instance, if you're chatting with friends about what to grab for dinner, M will suggest placing an order. The whole experience can be completed in Messenger, including group ordering and payment.
  • New rich gameplay in Messenger including game bots and much more.
  • Smart Replies, which help Pages to respond to the most frequently asked questions that small businesses receive, such as business hours, directions and contact details.
  • Hand-over Protocol, a new way for businesses to work with multiple developers for different experiences on Messenger.

F8 2017 continues tomorrow, with a focus on Facebook's investments in connectivity, artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality, and hardware.



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