When Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg kicked off Tuesday’s conference, he emphasized that the camera would play a larger role in how people interact with friends on the social network. Usually there’s much ooh-ing and aaaah-ing over whatever it is that Mark Zuckerberg introduces. Would anyone besides people who describe themselves as “virtual reality enthusiasts” really want to strap on a bulky, expensive headset so they can have interactions that are both more awkward and less personal than real life? That long road map included creating glasses and eventually contacts to see the world through an augmented reality lens.
But even with the growing capabilities of smartphones, we are still in the early phases of augmented reality, Zuckerberg said, and more tools will come in the future. Unlike Facebook, Apple is reportedly eyeing wearables as a part of that revolution, and a newer player like Snapchat already has a Spectacles glasses product that links to its main app.
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.
“This is an important time for us to work on technology like this, because we all have a lot of work to build community and bring people closer together”, Zuckerberg said. The Spaces app will let Facebook users create avatars which can the meet up with friends in virtual reality.
Facebook has been steadily adding camera capabilities to all its apps in anticipation of its big AR push.
The Platform’s main focus is on two new tools.
“It’s going to take a while for this to develop”, Zuckerberg acknowledged, adding that Facebook’s camera-based platform is launching first in closed beta before becoming publicly available to all developers.
Psst: Virtual and augmented reality may be the next big thing.
Speaking of content, you can also expect Facebook to tackle fake news further.
The possibilities for AR are only limited by a developer’s imagination and there are plenty of ways in which the real world can be manipulated using this technology.
“Think about how numerous things we have in our lives actually don’t need to be physical – they can be digital – and think about how much better and more affordable and accessible they’re going to be when they are”. Back then, the site only had 24 million active users, the “like” button didn’t even exist and the tech firm wasn’t a publicly traded company.