Facebook finally makes a virtual reality world

Posted April 20, 2017

At their F8 Developer Conference today Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg confirmed the company is working on an Augmented Reality headset in addition to their existing Oculus Rift Virtual Reality headsets.

"We are not using preliminary tools today because we prefer preliminary tools, we are using preliminary tools because we are still early in the journey to create better ones", Zuckerberg said. Looking through the phone screen, players could see game characters appear in the real world.

"I used to think that glasses were going to be the first mainstream augmented reality platform and that we would get them maybe 5-10 years from now in the form factor that we want". Zuckerberg outlined practical uses, like leaving virtual messages on the fridge each morning and new entertainment cases like gaming.

Facebook is allowing developers to sign up for closed beta of the platform's AR studio tool.

"As silly as effects like this might seem, they actually are really important and meaningful because they give us the ability to share what matters to us on a daily basis", Zuckerberg said. Zuckerberg showed different functions like creating virtual objects in a real space, providing an information layer like word bubbles or other annotations to real life, and enhancing reality.

Zuckerberg envisions the marriage of augmented reality and Facebook's camera feature enabling people to make even mundane chores, like doing the dishes, look entertaining with digital effects. The delay reignited criticism over Facebook's handling of offensive content.

Building on the launch of chatbots on Messenger at F8 past year, Facebook announced the new Discover tab, to find recently used bots, popular "experiences" and search for businesses. Augmented reality will also allow users to leave notes for friends in specific locations-say, at a table in a particular restaurant-or let them view pop-up labels tagged to real world objects. Such games will help define whole new genres of games, Zuckerberg said.

He also briefly acknowledged the "tragedy in Cleveland", in which Steve Stephens shot to death a randomly chosen victim, Robert Godwin, on Sunday and then posted video of the crime on Facebook. "We have a lot more to do here", he said.

"Our hearts go out to the family and friends of Robert Godwin, Sr".