Facebook is in an experimental mood. Alongside announcing the new dating feature, the company also teased another new feature that will show you a different kind of memory from the past. With the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Virtual Reality (VR), Facebook is aiming to use your old photos to re-create a sense of the locations where the photos may have been taken.
At F8 2018, Facebook introduced this new tool, called ‘VR Memories’. The company’s work in the AI and VR fields is well known and with the new VR Memories, it seems CEO Mark Zuckerberg is actually looking at a future where people will be interacting with their social feed in virtual or augmented reality.
As TechCrunch reports, VR Memories will take your old photos and use computer vision to turn the flat, 2D images or videos and turn them into spatial point clouds, giving you a sense of the old locations. It is to be noted that the feature is still in development. “It’s like a Facebook album that has come to life,” Facebook executive Rachel Franklin said during the demo of the new tool.
As the feature is still under development, it remains to be seen how the recreation of old memories is actually done. With a single image it is difficult to reconstruct locations. To perfectly do so, it will require a lot of images from varied angles. The computer vision technology has advanced in recent years, and VR Memories could be just one of the possible use cases.
Watch: WhatsApp features in 2017
If we look at the extended application of VR Memories, it will be possible to reconstruct locations from the last remaining image or video of that place. This way, it can be leveraged to build immersive experiences where one can possibly revisit now extinct buildings, locations, or even an era. Theoretically, any photo or video of a given location can be reconstructed using the said technology.