Facebook concluded its two-day F8 2017 developer conference yesterday with a host of new innovations announced. The first day saw announcements such as camera filters to enhance its augmented reality platform, a VR social space, and integration of music and games to its Messenger app. Day two of the F8 2017 conference moved on to bigger ideas showing how Facebook is following the path of augmented reality and virtual reality and how the camera is the way to future technology. Here is a brief roundup of all the exciting announcements made by Facebook on the second day of its F8 conference. Also Read - Your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram account can get deleted if you do thisAlso Read - Facebook smartwatch to feature cameras alongside fitness functions: Yes, detachable cameras!
Facebook Surround 360 cameras
Facebook expanded its Surround 360 camera lineup with two new products called the x24, which has 24 cameras, and the x6 with six cameras. The x24 and the x6 provide a better virtual reality experience as it can shoot with six degrees of freedom. Facebook says that content shot with the x24 and the x6 cameras will be the most immersive and engaging ever for VR. The new cameras essentially let a user view the content from different angles.
Facebook 360 Capture SDK
Facebook announced a new developer toolkit called 360 Capture SDK to easily capture and share personal experiences in VR, especially for gaming. The current stitching method would require one to capture every frame and stitch it together into one image and then further encode all the images for a final video which would also be in low quality. Facebook s latest toolkit uses cube mapping technology which will capture the environment in all 360 angles, stitch the scenes together and encode the images for a final video in high resolution. The finished product will be available for viewing in the same resolution on a VR headset or as a 360-degree video on Facebook. ALSO READ: F8 2017: Facebook Spaces is a new social VR platform for Oculus users
Facebook announced two projects that are currently under development at it Building 8 research facility. The first project includes building a system which will turn your thoughts into text. The thoughts that circle around one s head would eventually be turned into the text without the need of any other human function. This system is mainly aimed at helping people with communication disorders and can be used for AR as well. Another technology the folks at Building 8 are working on is hearing through one s skin. This technology, Facebook says, will use a hardware device which will transmit sound passing through one skin to the brain.
In terms of connectivity, Facebook announced that it s working on developing technologies for areas with low connectivity or no connectivity at all. Facebook first announced three new records in wireless data transfers with 80 gigabits per second over 13 kilometers point-to-point using millimeter-wave (MMW) technology, 80 gigabits per second using optical cross-link technology and 16 gigabits per second 16 gigabits per second from a location on the ground to a circling Cessna aircraft over 7 kilometers away using MMW. Facebook also announced a new insta-infrastructure called Tether-Tenna where a small helicopter tethered to a fiber and power infused wire can be used to immediately restore connectivity in emergency cases.
AI-based Camera Effects Platform
Facebook announced its new AI-based Camera Effects Platform which it says can understand your surroundings, recognize people, places, and things . Facebook s AI-powered camera is capable of differentiating between foreground and background to produce the DSLR-like bokeh effect. This feature is already available in the Apple iPhone 7 Plus but what s different is that Facebook s camera will keep blurring the background even as the object moves. Whereas on the iPhone 7 Plus, one needs to remain still for the depth-of-field effect to work. ALSO READ: F8 2017: Facebook launches augmented reality Camera Effects developer platform
Artificial Intelligence for 360 video streaming
Facebook announced three new developments to enhance 360 video streaming technology. The first is a gravitational predictor which uses physics and heat maps to better predict where the highest pixels resolution should be delivered. This new model, Facebook says improves resolution on VR devices by up to 39 percent. Facebook has also developed an AI model that can help predict the most interesting parts of a video while streaming in VR and non-VR devices in the absence of heat map data. A new encoding technique is also being developed which will improve 360 video resolution on non-VR devices by up to 51 percent, even with low connectivity.
Oculus Chief Scientist Michael Abrash announced the company s path to augmented reality which would be the development of something like transparent glasses that can show virtual images overlaid on the real world . However, he mentioned that this would require a decade of investment in the technologies required to achieve this dimension of AR isn t available as yet. Facebook aims to achieve the world of see-through augmented reality .