Meet Facebook’s Experimental Augmented Reality App

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What do you get when you mix artificial intelligence, videos, art and augmented reality? Well, that’s exactly what Facebook is trying to do. The social media giant gave an early look into a camera app that uses artificial intelligence in order to make live video look like art. The app, still in an experimental stage is Facebook’s attempt to invest in augmented reality. At least, that’s what Chris Cox, Chief Product Officer of Facebook said at the Wall Street Journal’s WSJD Live conference.

Similar to how Prisma works, the Live video filters will make your Facebook videos look like they were painted by artists the like of Vincent Van Gogh. Using a technology dubbed “convolutional neural nets”, the app can apply styles of artists like Monet or Rembrandt and apply them to your videos. The technology is based off a German academic paper about style transfer which is the technique of recomposing images in the style of other images.

Facebook
Chris Cox demos Style Transfer at Dmexco in Germany
Image taken from http://www.campaignlive.co.uk/

Even though Prisma uses similar technology to create their fine art inspired images, it lacks the ability to process images and videos in real time.

According to Cox, the video filters aren’t attached to any of Facebook’s products, although the demo showed that it can work in tandem with Facebook Live broadcasts.

Facebook Live already has a number of color filters to boost low light or turn videos black and white. The inclusion of more features such as this would be a real boon, especially to those who are shy and self-conscious about being on camera. In addition, Cox also stated that in five years, 70 percent of all consumer internet traffic will be video, hence Facebook’s decision to build video deeper into sharing, publisher content in the News Feed and Messenger.

Lately, the social media giant has spent a considerable amount investing in virtual reality. It was also confirmed that the company is working on AR applications. At Facebook’s F8 conference held earlier this year, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook also showed off a concept for augmented reality glasses.

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