Facebook’s next big thing is augmented reality.
At the company’s developer conference on Tuesday, CEO Mark Zuckerberg took the wraps off his plans to “mix the physical and digital in whole new ways” using AR, the nascent and potentially revolutionary technology being worked on by Apple, Microsoft, Snapchat Magic Leap, and others.
Starting Tuesday, Facebook will give developers the ability to build their own AR effects for the Facebook app’s camera. The effects will be relatively basic to start and work similarly to Snapchat’s lenses, which can place puppy dog ears or a flower crown on your face.
But eventually, Facebook plans to use AR through its app’s camera to show things like menu information at a restaurant, virtual steam rising from a real coffee cup, and virtual, 3D art that cascades from a blank wall.
Zuckerberg called AR the next major computing platform, a sentiment that has been echoed by Apple CEO Tim Cook and other tech executives. He said the end-goal for AR is glasses that display virtual objects in the real world, like the technology being worked on by Magic Leap and Apple.
Facebook’s move to open up its AR capabilities to other apps and services early is another direct attack on Snapchat, which pioneered AR camera effects but has yet to open its technology up to developers.
“Even if we were a little slow to add cameras to our apps, I’m confident that we’re going to be the ones to push this augmented reality platform forward,” Zuckerberg said.
This story is developing…