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Facebook announces expansion of Spark AR at developer conference


SAN FRANCISCO, June 2 (Xinhua) — Facebook announced on Wednesday new capabilities for Spark AR, its flagship augmented reality (AR) creation software at its F8 developer conference.

Since Spark AR was announced at F8 2017, more than 600,000 creators from 190 countries and regions have published over 2 million AR effects on Facebook and Instagram, making it the largest mobile AR platform, according to Facebook.

The Spark AR team highlighted several new use cases for AR effects in video calling, ranging from lightweight games to celebratory moments.

These AR effects will soon be available for video calling on Messenger, Instagram, and Portal with the introduction of a Multipeer API, the company said.

As an example, Spark AR shares a promo video of a birthday party held over a video call, in which an AR party hat appears on each of the participants’ heads.

According to a TechCrunch report, Facebook also discussed its plan to build AR glasses.

“Imagine being able to teleport to a friend’s sofa to watch a show together, or being able to share a photo of something awesome you see on a hike,” said Chris Barbour, director of partnerships for Spark AR, but adding that the goal is still “years away”.

“This year, after a brief pause in programming in 2020, we’re bringing F8 back to its roots as a true developer conference,” said Konstantinos Papmiltiadis, vice president of platform partnerships at Facebook.

Facebook has donated money to an organization working to diversify the technology industry every year during its developer conference. This year, it is donating 250,000 U.S. dollars to Girls in Tech, a global nonprofit organization focused on diversity, equality and inclusion through skill-building and job search resources for women.



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