Facebook introduces VR Spaces, AR camera effects at F8

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Giving a fresh impetus to its Augmented reality (AR) dream, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has outlined a new augmented reality platform for developers to encourage AR camera effects. The AR tools will not only improve the cameras' functionality but also display directions and add digital objects.

Zuckerberg was quoted by the Business Insider, an online news website as saying this during the 10 Annual F8 conference in California on Tuesday when he unveiled the camera effects platform. Facebook is opening up its AR platform so developers can make use of things like image recognition without having to invest in the costs for the technology themselves. AR Studio can be used to create masks, scripted effects, animated frames and other AR technologies that react to movement or interactions during live videos.

It also launched a virtual world, called Facebook Spaces, created to let users of its Oculus Rift VR headset hang out with avatar versions of their friends in a virtual world. AR has also enabled people to assemble a virtual human brain or hang out with a hologram of Mad Men star Jon Hamm, writes The Australian Financial Review.

"Developer Circles" is a community-driven programme that's free to join and open to any developer. The company has released the closed beta of its AR Studio platform, which will be "open" in later stages.

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These places include everything from public spaces and parks, to restaurants, stores and other local businesses.

"Over time, I think this is going to be a really important technology that changes how we use our phones", Zuckerberg stated, reports ABC News.

Facebook states that its Messenger Platform has more than 1.2 billion people, 100,000 developers and 100,000 monthly active bots, and 2 billion messages are sent between people and businesses on Messenger every month, so it's no wonder they're making major new add ons and improvements to their ever popular platform. Facebook said it aims to combine a phone directory and Yellow Pages to help Messenger users find relevant contacts and businesses. Users will be able to directly add in a chat bot to their Messenger group thread and share the conversation.

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