Facebook Chatbots and VR camera

Further proving this is the year of bots and VR, Facebook announced some interesting new products.

·       Facebook announced “Agents on Messenger” a program for business to create chatbots for customer service, ecommerce and more. Customers can send a text to the chat and the Chatbots can respond with texts, custom links, and buttons that would allow users ask questions, to pay for items, or book rooms.


·       Facebook also launched a Live video API that lets you broadcast to Facebook from any device.

·       The company also revealed an open source VR camera called Surround 360. The 17-lens camera require almost no post-production work. Rather than selling it Facebook will open source the designs and video stitching-algorithms and post to Github. Parts are estimated to cost $30,000.

Microsoft BUILD announcements

This week Microsoft had several interesting announcements at this year’s BUILD conference keynote.

1.  All retail Xbox One consoles can become development kits free of charge.

a.  Xbox Dev Mode is available starting today as a preview and will be finalized as a full release this summer.

2.  The Hololens development kits started shipping this week, still cost $3,000 though.

a.  Showed off Holoportation- Full 3D Holographic video capture and transition. Princess Leia Star Wars scene.


3.  The cornerstone of the keynote was the Microsoft Bot Framework.

a.  This tool in preview lets developers build their own chatbots into apps.

b.  Chatbot- Programs that chat-based conversations between a user and an automated response system. Can be so realistic some users don’t realize they’re talking/texting with a chatbots.

c.   Skype will get chatbots built in for desktop, iOS and Android and its own Skype Bot platform. Examples included booking a hotel room and arranging delivery of cupcakes.