Facebook's founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg focused on his company's strides in the field of augmented reality (AR) at the 2017 annual developers conference in San Jose. Zuckerberg said that Facebook's first AR platform will really help users express themselves using more lifelike filters on their mobile devices.
This new AR tool will allow users to pick from a wide variety of lenses, 3D objects, and filters to add vibrancy to their smartphone pictures. Just a few interesting features this AR technology will make possible include adding steam to the top of a coffee cup and filling the picture of a room with life-like water.
While Facebook's latest work in the AR field is impressive, Zuckerberg admitted that the company Snap deserves credit for its leading vision in the AR department. Snap, which is the owner of the popular social media sight Snapchat, has been working on AR filters and glasses for quite some time now. Just a few days before Facebook's conference, Snap actually released a few 3D AR products.
When asked by the crowd of 4,000 developers whether or not Facebook would get involved in designing AR glasses, Zuckerberg said his company was already developing high-tech glasses. However, the CEO also said he believes the major innovations in AR will actually be on the smartphone rather than in glasses like Snapchat's new Spectacles. While Facebook will work to incorporate this AR technology into its own pair of glasses, the company's main priority now is to create the best AR experience on smartphones.
In terms of virtual reality (VR), Facebook is hard at work designing a new social VR experience. Users will be able to create their own avatars and interact with friends in interesting locales. This new social VR experience might enable people to walk around 360-degree photos or even make video calls in the VR universe.
The Facebook team is hopeful that these new AR technologies will help the site's 2 billion users connect with one another in new and engaging ways. As Zuckerberg put it, "Augmented reality is going to help us mix the digital and the physical in all new ways, and that's going to make our physical reality better."