Oculus

Facebook rolls out 3D photos that use AI to simulate depth

Posted by | Apps, artificial intelligence, Facebook, Mobile, Oculus, Portrait mode, Social, TC, Virtual reality | No Comments

What if you could peek behind what’s in your photos, like you’re moving your head to see what’s inside a window? That’s the futuristic promise of Facebook 3D photos. After announcing the feature at F8 in May, Facebook is now rolling out 3D photos to add make-believe depth to your iPhone portrait mode shots. Shoot one, tap the new 3D photos option in the status update composer, select a portrait mode photo and users on the desktop or mobile News Feed as well as in VR through Oculus Go’s browser or Firefox on Oculus Rift can tap/click and drag or move their head to see the photo’s depth. Everyone can now view 3D photos and the ability to create them will open to everyone in the coming weeks.

Facebook is constantly in search of ways to keep the News Feed interesting. What started with text and photos eventually expanded into videos and live broadcasts, and now to 360 photos and 3D photos. Facebook hopes if it’s the exclusive social media home for these new kinds of content, you’ll come back to explore and rack up some ad views in the meantime. Sometimes that means embracing mind-bending new formats like VR memories that recreate a scene in digital pointillism based on a photo.

So how exactly do 3D photos work? Our writer Devin Coldewey did a deep-dive earlier this year into how Facebook uses AI to stitch together real layers of the photo with what it infers should be there if you tilted your perspective. Since portrait mode fires off both of a phone’s cameras simultaneously, parallax differences can be used to recreate what’s behind the subject.

To create the best 3D photos with your iPhone 7+, 8+, X or XS (more phones will work with the feature in the future), Facebook recommends you keep your subject three to four feet away, and have things in the foreground and background. Distinct colors will make the layers separate better, and transparent or shiny objects like glass or plastic can throw off the AI.

Originally, the idea was to democratize the creation of VR content. But with headset penetration still relatively low, it’s the ability to display depth in the News Feed that will have the greatest impact for Facebook. In an era where Facebook’s cool is waning, hosting next-generation art forms could make it a must-visit property even as more of our socializing moves to Instagram.

Powered by WPeMatico

Facebook animates photo-realistic avatars to mimic VR users’ faces

Posted by | Apps, Avatars, Developer, F8 2018, Facebook, Gaming, Mobile, Oculus, Social, TC, Virtual reality | No Comments

Facebook wants you to look and move like you in VR, even if you’ve got a headset strapped to your face in the real world. That’s why it’s building a new technology that uses a photo to map someone’s face into VR, and sensors to detect facial expressions and movements to animate that avatar so it looks like you without an Oculus on your head.

CTO Mike Schroepfer previewed the technology during his day 2 keynote at Facebook’s F8 conference. Eventually, this technology could let you bring your real-world identity into VR so you’re recognizable by friends. That’s critical to VR’s potential to let us eradicate the barriers of distance and spend time in the same “room” with someone on the other side of the world. These social VR experiences will fall flat without emotion that’s obscured by headsets or left out of static avatars. But if Facebook can port your facial expressions alongside your mug, VR could elicit similar emotions to being with someone in person.

Facebook has been making steady progress on the avatar front over the years. What began as a generic blue face eventually got personalized features, skin tones and life-like features, and became a polished and evocative digital representation of a real person. Still, they’re not quite photo-realistic.

Facebook is inching closer, though, by using hand-labeled characteristics on portraits of people’s faces to train its artificial intelligence how to turn a photo into an accurate avatar.

Meanwhile, Facebook has tried to come up with new ways to translate emotion into avatars. Back in late 2016, Facebook showed off its “VR emoji gestures,” which let users shake their fists to turn their avatar’s face mad, or shrug their shoulders to adopt a confused expression.

Still, the biggest problem with Facebook’s avatars is that they’re trapped in its worlds of Oculus and social VR. In October, I called on Facebook to build a competitor to Snapchat’s wildly popular Bitmoji avatars, and we’re still waiting.

VR headsets haven’t seen the explosive user adoption some expected, in large part because they lack enough compelling experiences inside. There are zombie shooters and puzzle rooms and shipwrecks to explore, but most tire of them quickly. Games and media lose their novelty in a way social networking doesn’t. Imagine what you were playing or watching 14 years ago, yet we’re still using Facebook.

That’s why the company needs to nail emotion within VR. It’s the key to making the medium impactful and addictive.

Powered by WPeMatico

Inside Oculus and Black Eyed Peas’ VR comic book

Posted by | Apps, Black Eyed Peas, Mobile, Oculus, TC, Virtual reality, VR Comic Book | No Comments

 “When people view VR, it’s an over-sensory experience like ‘What the fuck?!’ ” will.i.am says, wildly spinning his head around as you can see in the GIF below. That was the Black Eyed Peas’ frontman’s inspiration for creating a 90-minute VR comic book that moves at your pace and lets emotion sink in instead of battering you with visuals. Read More

Powered by WPeMatico

Everything announced at Oculus’ Connect 4 VR conference

Posted by | Apps, Enterprise, Entertainment, Facebook, facebook spaces, Gaming, Oculus, Oculus Connect 4, Oculus Dash, Oculus Go, Social, TC, Virtual reality | No Comments

 Standalone headsets, VR replacements for your computer monitor and ways to share VR to the News Feed were highlights of today’s big Oculus conference. Click through or scroll down to get just the need-to-know info and GIFs from our in-depth coverage of Facebook’s vision for the future of virtual reality.
  Read More

Powered by WPeMatico

Facebook seriously needs its own Bitmoji

Posted by | Apps, Avatars, Bitmoji, Facebook, facebook spaces, Mobile, Oculus, Opinion, Snapchat, Snapchat Clone, Social, TC | No Comments

 Your Facebook profile used to be the online version of “you”. But over the past year, Bitmoji has usurped Facebook to become the preferred way to share your identity over the web. The Facebook profile assembles a collection of text and real-world photos into a fixed set of poses, making it more of a snapshot of the offline you ported into the digital realm rather than a vision of… Read More

Powered by WPeMatico

Oculus reportedly planning $200 standalone wireless VR headset for 2018

Posted by | Facebook, Gadgets, Gaming, Oculus, Oculus Rift, Samsung, TC, Virtual reality | No Comments

 Facebook is set to reveal a standalone Oculus virtual reality headset later this year, Bloomberg reports, with a ship date of sometime in 2018. The headset will work without requiring a tethered PC or smartphone, according to the report, and will be branded with the Oculus name around the world, except in China, where it’ll carry Xiaomi trade dress and run some Xiaomi software. Read More

Powered by WPeMatico

Oculus Rift and Touch controllers on sale for $399 through summer

Posted by | Gadgets, hardware, Oculus, TC, Virtual reality | No Comments

 The best current hardware experience for VR is also now one of the most affordable: Oculus Rift and the Oculus Touch Controllers are reduced to just $399 for both for the remainder of the summer, or the next six weeks. The deal brings the Rift and Touch Controllers to price parity with the PlayStation VR, and undercuts significantly the HTC Vive. The pricing isn’t permanent, but… Read More

Powered by WPeMatico

Everything Facebook launched at F8 and why

Posted by | Apps, artificial intelligence, augmented reality, F82017, Facebook, facebook messenger, Gaming, Mobile, Oculus, react, Social, TC | No Comments

 An augmented reality developer platform, group chat bots, and a virtual reality version of Facebook itself were just a few of the launches at the social network’s big F8 conference today. Here’s a breakdown of each major announcement and why they’re important to you and Facebook. Read More

Powered by WPeMatico

Oculus CTO John Carmack is suing ZeniMax for $22.5 million

Posted by | Drama, Gaming, john carmack, Oculus, TC, ZeniMax | No Comments

 The feud between Oculus and ZeniMax Media is opening up once again, this time with the CTO of Oculus, John Carmack, suing his former employer for earnings that he claims are still owed to him. Carmack is suing ZeniMax Media for $22.5 million that he says has not been paid to him for the 2009 sale of his game studio, id Software, known for such video game classics as Doom and Quake. Read More

Powered by WPeMatico

Rock Band VR arrives on Oculus Rift March 23, pre-orders now open

Posted by | Gaming, Harmonix, Oculus, Oculus Rift, rock band, TC, Virtual reality | No Comments

16344740_1218213954965783_794694345625174016_n Harmonix has finally revealed when you can get your hands on Rock Band VR (virtually and physically, as it were): The game is set to debut on Oculus Rift on March 23, and fans can pre-order today if they’re interested in making sure they get in early. The Rock Band VR pre-order ships with a controller for $69.99, and the controller can also either work with your Xbox One or PlayStation… Read More

Powered by WPeMatico