Court transcript reveals how Facebook boss plans to turn the social network into a virtual reality platform.
Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg has revealed more about why his company spent $2bn (£1.5bn) on virtual reality firm Oculus, and his visions for the future of how VR will improve our social lives.
Zuckerberg’s comments came while being questioned on the stand during a trial which saw Oculus accused of misappropriating trade secrets by media company ZeniMax. But while Zuckerberg kept most of his answers brief, a transcript reveals how he went into detail about the future of VR and how Facebook intends to use it.
“The mission for Facebook is to give people more tools to be able to share their experiences,” Zuckerberg said, according to a transcript obtained by UploadVR. “From my perspective nothing can do that better than being able to capture a whole scene like you can in VR where you can capture it, then you can put on a headset and you can feel like you’re there.”
Zuckerberg’s praise for VR differs to the thoughts of Apple boss Tim Cook, who has repeatedly sided with augmented reality (AR) and its ability to blend virtual and real worlds together. Cook is less of a fan of the way VR headsets entirely blocks out the outside world.
But bulky headsets, limited content and blurred visuals mean VR isn’t perfect just yet; Zuckerberg is aware of this. “I don’t think that good virtual reality is fully there yet. It’s going to take five or 10 more years of development before we get to where we all want to go, where there’s both that great experience that is affordable enough for everyone to be able to use and where you have the software experiences…that people want to use.”
Zuckerberg added: “I think giving people the ability to travel anywhere, you know, without having to physically go…you could feel like you are really there and have the sound be the right fidelity and be able to look around and feel like you’re there. I think that would be an awesome experience.”
The Facebook boss then gave another example about why he is excited for VR, and its ability to put people anywhere, and with anyone. “My sister lives across the country from me and I want to see her. I can go into a [VR] space where I feel like I’m physically there with her, whether it’s playing ping-pong…or going to watch something together, and it is like you feel like you’re there.
“There’s something that’s much more powerful about that than just a phone call or even a video call, which are good technologies, they are better than nothing, but the feeling like you are physically there with someone is just a visceral thing that I think we as people feel.”