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Facebook Looks Forward to Augmented Reality with the Camera Effects PlatformMichelle
Facebook has been releasing Stories and Camera features for quite some time, following in SnapChat’s tracks, but at the recent F8 developer conference, Mark Zuckerburg revealed that these features were all laying the groundwork for a new launch – the Camera Effects platform.
The Camera Effects platform is an open augmented reality platform that allows outside developers to create frames, masking animations and advanced scripted effects for images. Facebook is launching it with just six developer partners, which will build augmented reality features and lenses for the Facebook in-app camera. Other developers can apply to join the program as well.
Outside developers will deliver those tools that Facebook doesn’t yet have for augmented reality. Users will have the ability to choose from thousands of effects to use in their images and when using Facebook Live. These include filters that not only apply effects to your face, but can interact with your environment using 3D mapping, depth detection and object recognition.
Using object recognition, Facebook’s camera will suggest effects based on the object. For example, a picture of a coffee cup will suggest the ability to add steam.
Camera Effects: A Platform for Communication
Facebook seems to have a big vision to enhance the way we interact with the world around us. Zuckerburg sees the Camera feature as a future platform for communication. While many of these effects – like mustaches and beards on your friends’ faces – are for fun, he hopes for more of them to actually be useful. He foresees users augmenting objects in the physical world with extra information, such as putting directions over a street or a restaurant’s reviews on their storefront.
The Camera Effects platform is designed to eventually be compatible with future augmented reality hardware, like eyeglasses. Since AR eyeglasses likely won’t be affordable for years to come, Zuckerburg believes that the camera is the avenue to take augmented reality mainstream. Building an open platform for developers to create a wide variety of effects is his strategy to push augmented reality forward.
Developers can apply for access to the closed beta form of the Camera Effects platform’s AR Studio tool, and anyone can use the Frame Studio to upload simple overlaid image filters that will appear in Facebook Camera to their friends or fans. No coding knowledge is needed to us the Frame Studio – simply upload an image and your name will appear on the Frame’s preview and News Feed posts.
While Facebook may be behind in releasing augmented reality features, they are pushing forward to the top with the open developer platform.
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