elproducto #16 👉 a weekly round-up of Tech and Product goodness for humans

SNES mini, Facebook’s AR & VR, Google Earth updated, The problem with Personas, Uber for business, Volkswagen charging network, Musk’s MVPs & more

Welcome to a new week full of fresh ideas and innovation at elproducto.

This week Facebook announced a bunch of new features and projects during their F8 developer conference:

  • Camera Effects Platform; enables developers to create frame overlays and AR filters for Facebook’s camera on smartphones; Frame Studio is now available; developers can apply to participate in a closed beta for AR Studio.
  • Announced Giphy Live: allows live stream viewers to vote on new topics with hashtags; popular topics scroll in a ticker at the top of the screen.
  • Launched ReactVR: a JavaScript framework for building VR experiences; primarily intended for combining 360 content with 2D text, images and UI elements.
  • Announced a free version of its Slack competitor, Workplace; will not include administrative tools, custom API integrations, single sign-on and some other features found in the Premium version, which will be free until Sept 30; Premium will always be free for nonprofits and educational institutions.
  • Apple Music and Spotify integration with Messenger, via Chat Extensions; Spotify is available now; Apple Music is coming soon; enables users to search for tracks and share them in a conversation without leaving the Messenger app.
  • Updated its Graph API with Places Graph; provides free access to 140M places; endpoints for Place Information, Current Place and Search; is integrated with the Facebook SDK; has also updated Webhooks, the Video API, the Marketing API & more.
  • Unveiled new Surround 360 VR cameras; the company released the initial open-source, 17-camera reference design last year; the new models feature 24- and 6-camera arrays; designs will not be publicly released; Facebook is working with hardware partners to make products available for purchase later this year.
  • Announced the 360 Capture SDK for any app or film that uses a game engine; rather than stitching together segments of a 360-degree scene, Facebook’s tech employs cube mapping, which captures the entire 360-degree output of a gaming engine; enables 4K, 360-video with high enough performance settings to provide a smooth VR experience.
  • Reportedly building an unmanned helicopter designed to provide internet access during crises; currently in early testing; can remain airborne for days; the company ultimately hopes the small car-sized aircraft will be able to stay up for weeks or months at a time
  • Facebook has 60 engineers working toward a brain-computer interface; aims to enable people to type through internal speaking; plans to use non-invasive optical imaging to scan the brain 100 times per second; ultimate goal is 100 words per minute; the company is also working on tech to enable deaf people to hear via the transmission of frequencies through the skin
  • Facebook owns four of the top five apps in terms of global downloads for Q1; WhatsApp is first, followed by Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and Snapchat; the rankings include non-game apps across both iOS and Android.

elproducto is a curated selection of Tech&Product happenings within the last few days from a curious and frequently skeptical Product Manager’s perspective.

“The greatest scientific discovery was the discovery of ignorance. Once humans realised how little they knew about the world, they suddenly had a very good reason to seek new knowledge, which opened up the scientific road to progress.”
Yuval Noah Harari, Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow

Full-time learner, product stuff, “triathlete” & global traveller. Creating cool products @ Revolut, formerly @ Booking.com and @ Just Eat.