Facebook is undoubtedly quiet serious about its research into virtual reality and artificial intelligence. In a bid to step ahead in the space, Facebook has hired three longtime Microsoft veterans to head up a new computational photography team that would focus onto the two segments.
Michael Cohen, Rick Szeliski and Matt Uyttendaele were previously at Microsoft Research, working on projects like Hyperlapse, a technology for stabilizing videos, and Blink, which takes a burst of multiple photos to get a good shot.
The team, led by 20-year Microsoft researcher Rick Szeliski, will work on conceiving tools so that Facebook users can share 3-D video and virtual reality video to their profiles. That includes things like 360-degree video, which Facebook just launched in News Feed for the first time in September.
As explained by the team –
We will be creating new tools and technologies that have in the past often been restricted to a specialist or required many hours of curation and bring that to the entire Facebook community.
Moreover, it’s about creating virtual reality content that is easily accessible by the masses. The Oculus Rift is expected to be launched next year in its consumer form, along with other models from competing companies.
Perhaps, this would ease the sales of VR headsets as one will not have to think about getting 3D content for his device.
Microsoft said that its interactive visual media research team is now being run by Larry Zitnick, who Szeliski designated as his successor before leaving.