Zuckerberg continues to insist that mixing realities is the future of digital technology, and therefore two high-profile announcements related to this topic were made on the F8 at once.
The first concerns augmented reality. Facebook introduced a software platform for developers to create apps and games for mobile cameras. And thus, allow users to superimpose virtual objects on the image - be it a photo, recorded or streamed video.
Judging by the demo frames, the developers will have the widest opportunities: we are talking not only about funny bunny ears and hats that you can try on yourself when taking pictures - even full-fledged three-dimensional objects will allow you to insert into the frame.
On stage, Zuckerberg, for example, added the caption “Time to eat,” behind the breakfast plate shown in the photo, and then cartoon sharks began circling around it. Nothing revolutionary at first glance, but all this was demonstrated only to show that the Facebook application can perceive the depth of the frame and the objects in it and is able to automatically position virtual objects in three-dimensional space. And rightly so.
The second "demo" is more impressive: Facebook has developed a program that turns 2D photography into 3D. You can rotate the camera and move it, place additional objects in space and change their color, adjust lighting, add various effects. On stage, for example, the Facebook office in the photo was flooded with water, and then covered with rubber balls ("we love balls"), and then - Skittles ("because the future is delicious").
In addition, thanks to the capabilities of the Facebook platform, users will be able to leave virtual messages to friends in real places. Let's say your colleague, knowing that you constantly go to the same Starbucks before work, can draw or write something over the bar. To see the image, you just need to point the camera in place. According to Zuckerberg, he has long dreamed of such an opportunity.
Zuckerberg has been talking about plans to create a version of Facebook for virtual reality for more than a year, and now finally the first fruits of his team's work can be tested by all owners of the Oculus Rift helmet. We are talking about Spaces - a virtual platform where up to three people can gather. Each person will have their own avatar, and thanks to the Touch controllers, the system is able to recognize hand movements.
© David Paul Morris / Bloomberg via Getty Images
Of course, you can customize your avatar: change gender and skin color, hairstyle and facial features, choose clothes. After completing work on your own protégé, you find yourself in a room where each of the participants has a special console. And it is essentially a control panel for Spaces capabilities.… With this console, for example, you can create a pencil and start drawing right in the air. All sketches are transformed into interactive objects: we have depicted a sword - we take it in our hand and fence. If desired, they will even give you a selfie stick to take a group photo with virtual images of your friends. In general, you can do many things there that are popular in the real world: watch photos and videos together (or shoot something new), play games like chess, and so on. At the same time, the environment is configured in hundreds of different ways: you can "sit" in the mouth of a volcano, sink to the seabed, or even go into space. But even more attractive is the opportunity to find a self-made 360-degree panorama among the photos in your account and transfer it to virtual reality.
To make avatars look more friendly, Facebook will allow you to choose emotions and facial expressions using Touch controllers. Not very convenient, but so far there is no other way: virtual reality helmets cannot yet recognize facial expressions of the wearer.
The Facebook messenger will receive several new and useful features. First, extensions will appear in it: third-party applications can be partially embedded in the program. For example, you can literally share music with one button right in the chat window through the Spotify extension or - and this is a very serious announcement - Apple Music. In the same way, without leaving the correspondence window, they will allow you to book tables in restaurants through OpenTable and so on.
Secondly, the Discovery tab will appear on the main screen of the messenger, and in fact it is the App Store - only for bots. There you can see which bots are already popular and which ones are gaining popularity, as well as find out which bots are recommended by Facebook itself.
And thirdly, the messenger will learn how to scan QR codes: with their help, you can quickly get into a chat with a certain bot. Relevant for purchases of goods.>