Facebook introduces VR Spaces, AR camera effects at F8

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Tuesday that the social networking giant is debuting a new platform-essentially a suite of developer tools-that coders can use to build augmented reality apps on top of Facebook's core service.

Zuckerberg believes that his recent push to add camera features to Facebook's suite of smartphone apps will help the company popularise AR.

"The camera effects platform is basically a set of tools for outside developers to build their own augmented reality apps".

Facebook has tasked developers to contribute to the augmented reality image filters and interactive experiences to its new Camera Effects platform. Via an "AR studio" (pictured above), the Camera Effects platform will also let developers create masks and scripted effects that react to movement in Live Videos. Frames Studio which is a global online creative editor, that allows you to design frames that can be used either as profile picture frames or in the new Facebook camera. The new AR Studio is bound to bring forth some exciting new applications and it will be very interesting to see what creative devs can come up with.

At launch, Facebook has signed up select beta partners at launch including Electronic Arts (for Mass Effect: Andromeda), GIPHY, Manchester United, Nike, Real Madrid, TripIt and Warner Bros (for Justice League) for its AR Studio tool.

Facebook says its AR platform will eventually make it possible to leave a virtual note for a friend at a restaurant or create artwork that appears on a building wall when looking at it with your phone.

Facebook Inc Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg pledged on Tuesday that his company would do all it could to prevent postings of incidents such as Sunday's fatal shooting in Cleveland, which was visible on the social media site for two hours.

"Users will likely spend even more time figuring out ways to not only apply but also interact with a lens they'll see through their camera", said eMarketer principal analyst Cathy Boyle.

For now the AR-focused Camera Effects platform is necessarily a smartphone-only affair, but promises to provide the basis for some of the interactions that will take place in the flawless "glasses form-factor" AR headset of the future. Facebook is addressing that issue by adding a new Discover tab accessible from the home screen. You will be able to drop songs into a group chat.

Vanessa Coleman

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