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Facebook unveils new AR, VR platforms and products
20 April 2017, 09:55 | Patty Hardy
The Messenger video chat feature in Facebook Spaces lets the VR user see their real-life friends through a smartphone camera, while the smartphone user sees the VR user's avatar and the virtual world around them.
Speaking at F8, the company's annual conference for software developers, Zuckerberg said Facebook was an obvious hub for businesses to reach people and experiment with augmented reality, although he did not suggest the company was planning to make similar games itself.
The company is investing in a number of foundational technologies over the next 10 years, including connectivity, artificial intelligence, and virtual and augmented reality, Schroepfer said on the concluding day of the conference. Spaces is launching in beta for Oculus Rift and Touch on Tuesday and is available at the Oculus Store.
Zuckerberg imagines AR experiences breaking down into three major categories: augmenting objects in the physical world with additional information, layering virtual objects onto reality like a board game or a television, and enhancing objects that are already there with extra effects.
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VR is "an extension of who you are", said Facebook's head of Social VR, Rachel Franklin.
Pokemon Go, developed by Nintendo Co and Niantic Inc, generated millions of followers worldwide, with players using their phones to capture animated creatures that appear in real locations. To push AR forward, there needs to be an open platform, Zuckerberg said.
The platform specifically includes two creative tools, Frame Studio and AR Studio, for creating a range of camera effects, from simple frames to interactive AR experiences.
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