VIRTUALLY REAL

Mark Zuckerberg wants people to eventually wear Oculus virtual reality goggles in public

Oculus Rift isn’t launching until early 2016, but Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of its parent company Facebook, is already thinking about what it will look like a decade from now.

In a town hall hosted at the company’s Menlo Park, California, headquarters today, Zuckerberg talked about how virtual reality represents the next big computing platform. One of the things he’s most looking forward to is how the hardware will change in the coming years.

“What I think is going to be really cool is as the form factor keeps on getting smaller and smaller, [it] stops being big goggles or headset,” he said. “But instead it just looks like normal glasses or sunglasses where you can use it without being tied to a computer.”

With these hi-tech glasses, he imagines a world where people would no longer need to whip out their phones to show a photo to their friends. “In the future you’ll be able to snap your fingers and instantiate a photo album or a big photo, make it whatever size you want, and people will be able to see it through their glasses.”

But he notes this vision won’t become reality overnight: “It’s going to take five, seven, 10, I don’t know, maybe 12 years to build that out and have that be something that really works and is cheap enough for everyone in the world to use.”

At Facebook’s developer conference in March, chief technical officer Mike Schroepfer hinted at the company’s plans to bring virtual reality to the social network. Technology like Oculus can help create a sense of presence on Facebook—to the point where people could virtually relive moments from their friends’ lives.

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