Marks Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook in the annual F8 developer conference this week talked about adapting and moving its wings to Virtual and Augmented Reality, announcing a new augmented reality (AR) platform by launching an app called Spaces. It will allow people to overlay digital images onto photos and videos in Facebook.
Facebook is going to transform the camera on your smartphone into an AR engine. The company will soon allow outside companies and other developers to build digital effects that you can layer atop what you see through your camera. Initially, Facebook will offer ways of applying varied effects to still images, videos, or even live videos shot with your phone.
Facebook Spaces will allow you to first choose one of your Facebook photos and you’ll get several options for your virtual reality (VR) appearance. You can select one and customize it as you want. Like, you can change the color of your eyes or hair, hairstyles or facial features. Once you are done, you can start with the experience and invite your friends to join in. With Facebook Spaces, you can draw anything using a virtual marker and carry out lots of other activities.
Facebook has also launched new camera tools that is based on virtual reality. It aims to change the way people interact with friends on social media. A lot of AR-powered effects, like masks and frames, will be available within the Facebook app’s camera.
Mark Zuckerberg said he envisioned a world in which people could eventually point smartphone cameras at a bowl of cereal and have an app create tiny sharks swimming in the milk. Friends can leave virtual notes for one another on the walls outside their favorite restaurants, noting which menu item is the most delicious.
Facebook will launch software to help developers create such experiences called AR Studio. The app that is in its beta version provides a digital avatar to users that allows them to chat and interact with users in VR.
Some of the effects that Zuckerberg described are still months down the road, but Facebook is not the first company to recognize this inevitable trend and trying to capitalize on it. Google’s early effort to make Google Glass popular had failed and Facebook might face the same type of challenges as it tries to popularize camera effects. Facebook is also said of having copied Snapchat, trying to capture the attention of young mobile users.