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Facebook Talks Up AR At F8 Conference

While it’s sunk billions into virtual reality ventures via Oculus, social networking giant Facebook was all about augmented reality at its F8 conference this week.

Unveiling Facebook’s new “Camera Effects” platform, aimed at giving rival Snap a run for their money among the selfie crowd, Zuckerberg showed off some a number of unique augmented and mixed-reality applications and technologies that’ll be on offer to both users and developers.

Vaguely comparable to what Microsoft is looking at accomplishing with their HoloLens headset, Facebook are looking to use AR for art, information, gaming and commercial purposes.

In short, they say they are “making the camera the first AR platform” and looking to fundamentally change the social media experience.

Facebook have even released a short demo reel for the tech, seen below:

However, Zuckerberg’s vision for AR extends far beyond even that. During his keynote at the conference, he talked up the idea of virtual screens that replace physical ones. Instead of spending thousands of dollars on a new TV to fit your living room, you’d just buy a virtual one that can be as big as you need it to be.

He envisioned a future powered by lightweight and affordable AR-enabled glasses “that look and feel normal but let us overlay all kinds of information and digital objects on top of the real world”

“It’s actually pretty amazing when you think about how much of the physical stuff we have doesn’t need to be physical,” he said.

Facebook are allowing developers to sign up and begin developing content for Camera Effects as of this week.

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