The F8 event started today. At the opening keynote speech, Mark Zuckerberg spoke at length on the idea of creating a feeling of presence, both in and out of virtual reality (VR)
Zuckerberg commented that much of what Facebook, Instagram and Oculus was aimed at was creating that sense of presence, whether that is through seeing pictures or videos of loved ones, making video calls or donning a headset and entering a VR environment. Zuckerberg said that the goal is to take this idea to a different level.
According to the presentation, Facebook can use photos from your childhood home and use computer vision and machine learning to bring your childhood home to life in VR, using just a photo.
The effect transforms the room into a kind of point cloud, giving the appearance of a Pointillism painting. The photos are used as a basis, with the Pointillism-style filling in the gaps based upon what the machine learning tools think ought to be there. The photos are then placed in the relevant locations, and users can walk around and visit the room, even bringing in friends and family.
This mapping out of significant spaces is said to be another important step in a path of creating a feeling of significance and presence.
Zuckerberg said the goal was to build relationships and put people at the centre of the experiences. He said the best part of Facebook was what people did together, and that creating a sense of community was important.
It’s not yet known in what context this new effect will be used, if it will be available to users or is simply a proof of concept. The presentation led in to the announcement about Oculus Go, so could be interpreted to be related in some way.
For further news on Facebook’s VR projects and other coverage from F8, keep checking back with VRFocus.