Facebook CEO wants to augment your reality

Note that augmented reality is not the only area in which Facebook and Snapchat are competing.

During Facebook's F8 Developer Conference keynote speech, the social media giant's CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that his company is working on a free development platform for augmented reality that will speed up the evolution of this technology and hopefully bring it to your smartphone in the near future. "This gives people the option to scan Messenger Codes through the Messenger camera and link to their favourite brands and businesses", Facebook said in a statement.

Last year, one of Mark Zuckerberg's main areas of interest was virtual reality (which Facebook and Oculus are continuing to work on). 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? For example, the recently launched Stories feature in Facebook proper will soon have thousands of AR filters once AR experiences submitted via this platform are linked with the apps.

"We're not just going to build basic cameras, we're going to build the first mainstream augmented reality platform", Zuckerberg said.

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Nike, another AR Studios early beta partner, combined data and design to enable runners to share to share and visualize their runs in different ways. "Over time, I think this is going to be a really important technology that really changes how we use our phones and eventually all technology".

Now when a user opens their camera on one of Facebook's apps, they will see effects, such as face masks, that their friends are using, as well as effects related to their geographical location.

Have you noticed that most Facebook apps these days have a camera button built in? 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. "We're reminded of this this week by the tragedy in Cleveland", Zuckerberg said.

For instance, Facebook announced a development tool that lets developers write effects for Facebooks AR app, akin to Snap's filters.

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