Thousands of people attended day two of F8 and more than a million more watched online as talks featured a look toward the future.
In the opening keynote, Facebook Chief Technology Officer Mike Schroepfer talked about our work to connect everyone and the development of new platforms like artificial intelligence and virtual reality.
This future-looking work maps to the 10 year time horizon of our roadmap to make the world more open and connected.
Schroepfer and other keynote speakers gave a series of updates on some of our long-term focus areas.
Facebook’s Connectivity Lab is working on a range of new technology solutions to help connect the unconnected and improve the experience of the underserved. Today we announced two new terrestrial systems focused on improving the speed, efficiency, and quality of internet connectivity around the world: Terragraph, a wireless system for dense urban areas; and ARIES, a proof-of-concept research project to provide wide-coverage connectivity to areas with low population density.
The Applied Machine Learning team gave attendees a glimpse into the AI backbone that powers various Facebook experiences. The team’s ongoing research efforts will enable even better ways for people to connect, with new capabilities such as language translation, image understanding that allows photos to be searched for and classified by the image context rather than tags, and classifying videos in real time to help navigate the increasingly rich content people create every day.
Virtual reality has the potential to be more social than any other platform. Our recently established Social VR team is exploring how people can connect and share using today’s VR technology, as well as long-term possibilities as VR evolves into an increasingly important computing platform. Some of the challenges they’re working on involve combining a sense of presence with the ability to interact with the environment and communicating through body language as well as voice.
Over the past year, React Native has fundamentally changed the way developers build iOS and Android interfaces. This year we announced some exciting new additions to the React Native ecosystem: React Native for Windows, React Native for Tizen (the operating system that runs on all Samsung SmartTVs), and a Facebook SDK for React Native, which will make it easier and faster for developers to incorporate social features like Login, Sharing, App Analytics, and Graph APIs across platforms.
A big part of our commitment to building first-class mobile experiences is developing internal tools. This year we are contributing several new projects to the open source community aimed at helping developers improve their own mobile app performance. Visit the Facebook Engineering blog to learn more.