Highlights from Facebook’s F8 Developer Conference

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At this year’s Facebook’s F8 Developer Conference in San Jose California, the company announced their short and long term plans. The announcements ranged from updates to existing offerings in the short term and long term plans bordering on science fiction.

Facebook Wants to Read Your Mind

In a surprising announcement, Regina Dugan told the F8 audience about a project with two goals, typing with your brain and hearing with your skin. In a Facebook Post Dugan says, “Over the next 2 years, we will be building systems that demonstrate the capability to type at 100 wpm by decoding neural activity devoted to speech… We also described a system that may one day allow you to hear through your skin.”

360-degree cameras

Wednesday’s keynote from CTO Mark Schroepfer announced the second generation of its Surround 360 camera design. The Street reports, "The new cameras are called the x24, featuring 24 cameras on an orb, and the smaller x6, which features six cameras on an orb. Unlike the original Surround 360 camera announced at last year's F8 event, these cameras use six degrees of freedom (SDOF) to allow a VR headset wearer to move around in about a meter and a half of space to observe an object closer or to simply walk around a space. This effect allows users to feel more immersed in a scene. In addition, while last year's camera became an open-source project on GitHub, Facebook is planning to work with partners to manufacture the x6 and x24 to bring them to market later this year."

Beam the Internet from helicopter

CNN Tech reports: "Facebook said it's created something called a Tether-tenna, a small helicopter connected to an internet cable and a power source. In an emergency, the Tether-tenna would connect to an existing piece of fiber line and fly above the ground, becoming a tower that people can use to get online

This disaster zone tech is still a long-term plan. But Facebook says it could eventually be deployed for months at a time, providing connectivity while a community rebuilds itself."

Updates to Workplace by Facebook

TechCrunch reports: "Facebook announced updates to its Workplace by Facebook team communications tool, including a slew of new partnerships and new bot integrations, which all show a product that’s maturing to meet the needs of larger enterprise customers."

Updates to Facebook Analytics

Facebook’s VP of Partnerships, Ime Archibong, announced updates to Facebook Analytics as well as Facebook Login and Account Kit during his F8 keynote address. TechCrunch: “Analytics is getting greater customizability and a machine learning boost while Login and Account Kit are benefiting from additional transparency and accessibility.”

Facebook Spaces Announcement | F8 in Under 10 Minutes from Engadget:

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