“We’re making the camera the first augmented reality platform out there,” explains Facebook’s CTO, Mike Schroepfer. It’s day two of Facebook’s F8 developer conference, and we’re seeing a glimpse of the future- except the future is now and it seems like we won’t be waiting much longer (if, at all!).
Today’s session focused on technologies that will “connect the world” with a huge emphasis on “collaboration and cooperation” from consumers and people in the industry. While this is spun as a team effort, it’s easy to forget that this event is likely a small part of Facebook’s larger plan to incorporate their products and services into every aspect of our lives. Whether this is a good thing or bad thing is up to you. Schroepfer describes the plan for artificial intelligence (AI) in more detail:
AI, part of our 10 year vision, has been a big part of F8 so far. Computer vision is just one part of the puzzle for AI. Our goal for AI isn’t just to teach computers to see. We want to build truly intelligent systems that understand the world, and are useful for all of you and the things you want to do every day. And in order to build these sort of, actually intelligent systems, we need to do more than just perception, or teach them to see- we need to solve problems on teaching computers to learn and understand the world around us: the context of the world we’re operating in. We also need to teach computers something all of you do everyday: predict the future.
Among these advances in AR is a camera shaped like a laser disco ball, for lack of a better description, with cameras on all sides making pixel overlap possible. Pixel overlap allows a very detailed, in-depth look at pictures that were never explicitly taken by the camera. This accounts for the resolution and immersive depth you experience in VR, such as walking around and examining any perspective at any range of depth only possible by recreating “views that didn’t exist before.” It seems the driving factor behind AR is immersion, which is fair. We can all agree that 2D photography lacks immersion as a finite, flat plane.
However, Schroepfer acknowledges there is still a long ways to go. The ultimate plan seems to be implementing a way to use brainwaves with AR and VR systems. Whether that can truly come about in the next ten years is up to Facebook (and friends), but it’s fun to entertain the idea of console-less VR. Wouldn’t that make virtual reality more like just reality?
On that note, feel free to watch the stream for yourself here and come to your own conclusions. How do you think VR and AR may impact your daily life in the future? Leave us a comment below, or give us a shout on Instagram or Twitter. We want to hear what you think!