Facebook will be looking into seizing on augmented reality, said Mark Zuckerberg, Chief Executive on Tuesday April 18, 2017, at F8, the company’s annual conference for software developers.
Zuckerberg said that Facebook was an obvious hub for businesses to reach people and experiment with augmented reality, according to a report by Reuters on April 19. However, he did not suggest the company was planning to make games similar to Pokemon Go.
Facebook’s recent push to add camera features to its suite of smartphone apps will help the company popularise similar features, the founder said. "Even if we were a little slow to add cameras to all our apps, I'm confident that now we're going to push this augmented reality platform forward."
Facebook's move toward augmented reality raises the stakes for its competition with rival Snapchat, which describes itself as a camera company.
"This isn't just about finding a Pokemon in a one-block radius," Zuckerbeg added. For example, people could use the technology to leave a virtual note for a friend at a bar, or they would be able to find virtual street art on a wall that in real life is blank.
Eventually, Zuckerberg said, augmented reality will be used on eyewear, although he did not give any details about possible Facebook hardware. Facebook acquired its Oculus virtual reality goggles unit for $2 billion in 2014. However, that division is a long way from making a mass-market product or contributing significantly to the company's earnings.
At the conference, Zuckerberg also addressed shortcomings on Facebook's push into video. There are more that needs to be done to prevent the spread of violent videos, such as one on Sunday of a fatal shooting in Cleveland that was visible on the site for two hours, he said.