Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg announces a push for augmented reality with a new developer platform

Courtney Goldsmith
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Mark Zuckerberg Attends Mobile World Congress
Mark Zuckerberg said Facebook's new augmented reality work will change the way we use our phones (Source: Getty)

Facebook today announced it will launch an augmented reality developer platform that will change the way we use our phones.

In his keynote speech at F8, Facebook's developer conference, Mark Zuckerberg, founder and chief executive, said the company is building an open platform where anyone can build augmented reality features for cameras in Facebook's range of apps, which include Messenger, Instagram and Whatsapp.

"We're making the camera the first mainstream augmented reality platform," Zuckerberg said.

The first step was rolling out cameras across all of its apps, and the next step, the platform, launches in closed beta today, Zuckerberg said. In the future, advancements will include 3D effects, precise location mapping and object recognition.

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Many more features will be rolled out over time, but Zuckerberg warned it will take developers a while to build the different experiences he envisioned. However, the technology is set to shake up the way we use our phones.

"Your experience isn't going to change dramatically overnight, it's going to take a while to roll some of these things out, and then even longer for developers to start building these experiences.

"But over time I do think this is going to be a really important technology that changes how we use our phones, and eventually all of technology."

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And Zuckerberg said although Facebook was slow to add cameras to its apps, he's confident his company will be the one to push the augmented reality platform forward.

More announcements will be made during the two-day conference, including the company's first social virtual reality product and Building 8, technology Facebook is working on that moves way beyond augmented reality into allowing people to communicate with only their minds.

"This is an important time for us to work on technology like this, because we all have a lot of work to build community and bring people closer together," Zuckerberg said.

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