Facebook made clear its confidence in the future of virtual reality (VR) in 2014 when it purchased Oculus VR for some $2 billion USD. The potential benefits of combining the popular social network and the Oculus Rift head-mounted display (HMD) were immediately obvious. It’s been a quiet year for Facebook and VR since then, but CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently noted that he expects the technology to ‘become the norm’ in the future.
Zuckerberg said as much replying to a question of the future of Facebook in a recent Q&A. “First, people are gaining the power to share in richer and richer ways,” he said. “We used to just share in text, and now we post mainly with photos. In the future video will be even more important than photos. After that, immersive experiences like VR will become the norm. And after that, we’ll have the power to share our full sensory and emotional experience with people whenever we’d like.”
He also touched upon how augmented reality (AR) tech will improve future communication. “Second, people are gaining the power to communicate more frequently. We used to have to be with someone in person. Then we had these bulky computers at our desks or that we could carry around. Now we have these incredible devices in our pockets all the time, but we only use them periodically throughout the day. In the future, we’ll have AR and other devices that we can wear almost all the time to improve our experience and communication.
“One day, I believe we’ll be able to send full rich thoughts to each other directly using technology. You’ll just be able to think of something and your friends will immediately be able to experience it too if you’d like. This would be the ultimate communication technology.”
Facebook recently announced that it would soon be bringing 360 photos and videos to its service, which would be viewable with the Oculus Rift. VRFocus will continue to follow the company’s work in VR, reporting back with the latest updates on it.