Facebook kicked off the two-day F8 seminar on April 18, which gives us a first look at the new technology Facebook is working on. This year, the overpowering message was the term Augmented Reality Platform. Let’s explore…
It’s no secret that Facebook is trying to slowly overtake Snapchat, the photo sharing platform. In their efforts to rise to the top, Facebook has done a magnificent job of completely blowing Snapchat’s features out of the water. In his keynote presentation, Mark Zuckerberg talked through and showed off some of the all-new Augmented Reality (AR) Platform features that rival Snapchat filters and face recognition abilities.
SIMULTANEOUS LOCALIZATION AND MAPPING
The first object is Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM). This feature allows your camera to find and recognize objects and maintain the localization of that object so the user can then virtually place digital stickers or objects in the space. These videos can then be sent to friends and contacts.
In the future, object recognition will also be utilized within games. The example presented in F8 involves using your phone or tablet’s camera to recognize a flat surface on a table and play a virtual game on that surface through the camera.
Object recognition can also be used when sending images or videos to friends. Objects, such as a coffee cup or a wine bottle, will be recognized and you can virtually add related features like steam or a tile that includes the wine’s type or vintage. Moving forward, Facebook could possibly add a link to purchase that bottle of wine. Other Object Recognition features include adding notes and comments for friends at certain locations like restaurants.
COMPUTER VISION TECHNOLOGY
The next portion F8 covered Computer Vision Technology. This function is more about leisure photo and video taking instead of sharing photos amongst friends directly. Think of Computer Vision Technology as Photoshop in your pocket. For example, if you’re taking a video of the ocean and a boat enters the shot, you can now remove that boat from the video.
Virtual Reality was also touched upon in F8. The new platform Facebook Spaces is now launched in VR stores, which allows you to have an active, interactive social life from the comfort of your home. You can connect with friends who have Facebook Spaces and communicate, visit unique locations, and take selfies with your avatars. (Remember Second Life? Facebook Spaces is a VR-based Second Life.)
Let’s move to messenger and – more importantly – bots. Currently, 1.2 billion people use Facebook messenger every month, with over 100,000 unique bots. Bots are built to automate messages from Facebook to your company. Within the past year, M Suggestions have come to help businesses with standard replies for chat customers. This automation will continue in 2017 with Smart Replies for small businesses.
A new app? Possibly. Chat extensions are new to the Messenger platform, and any developer can create them. Current chat extensions include Fandango, Uber, Opentable, Spotify and more. These extensions remove the need to switch between apps or websites. For example, delivery.com has a chat extension that allows all participants in a group chat to add food to the same cart.
Once the rollout dates are announced, we can look forward to new features being launched over the coming months. I am excited to see where Facebook is taking Augmented Reality within video, VR and bots in 2017. If you’re looking to be the first in your industry with a Chat Extension, need a Facebook Bot, or want to get a customized filter for the all new AR platform, get in touch with our team.