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Facebook announces its AR Camera Effects Platform

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Zuckerberg made the statement at the F8 developer conference today, saying "we're making the camera the first augmented reality platform".

As per Zuckerberg's personal letter to Facebook users in February, the company mission is now to build out a community, and Zuckerberg believes these new realities are critical in this journey. Zuckerberg initially said it was "crazy" that Facebook could have impacted the election, though later backtracked on his comments.

A picture might be worth a thousand words, but a self-portrait with 3D filters that attach to your face is presumably worth a lot more than that to Facebook and Snap, the makers of Snapchat.

"Augmented reality will let us mix the digital and the physical", Zuckerberg said in his keynote address to 4000 developers, "and that will make our physical reality better". This new augmented reality platform will definitely add edge to the graphics that are visible from a camera lens. 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.

Many more features will be rolled out over time, but Zuckerberg warned it will take developers a while to build the different experiences he envisioned. Developers can apply to access a beta version of the platform now. But advances in image and object recognition, along with the ubiquity of smartphone cameras, "has put us on the course to bring augmented reality", Kirkpatrick said in an interview.

AR Studio includes tools for building masks, animations and advanced scripted effects. One day, he says, we will have a seamless interface with our technologies and our AI.

Pokemon Go, jointly developed by Nintendo Co and Niantic Inc, has generated masses of followers around the world as players use their phones to capture animated characters that appear in real locations.

That environment is called "Facebook Spaces", and it's a fully rendered virtual reality where Facebook users "meet up" and interact with other users, as though they were out in the real world, interacting with other human beings.

Augmented reality tools unveiled by Facebook were impressive, but unlikely to reach the hands of users soon, according to Jackdaw Research analyst Jan Dawson. "You forget you're avatars".

Of greater benefit, perhaps, is that the platform will allow developers to layer information cards digitally onto the real world. Users will be able to check out a preview screen about what a bot does before starting a conversation with one. Instead, it means a company whose primary user interface is the camera, and everything that can be done with it.

With Facebook Spaces, the social network giant is extending the limits of Virtual Reality.

Messenger's new AI assistant, M, for example will sort out your dinner plans via delivery.com.

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