Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg stressed Wednesday during an earnings conference call that virtual reality and augmented reality are essential investment areas. Although the company has achieved some important milestones in the advancement of VR, Zuckerberg said that developing AR glasses that are widely accepted would be “one of the most difficult technological challenges of the decade.”
According to Zuckerberg, the challenge is “basically fitting a supercomputer in the frame of glasses.” “That is a fascinating topic for me to focus on. And I believe that once that is accomplished, the potential for that will be very high.”
For years, Facebook has expressed its belief that VR and AR have the potential to become “the next computing platform,” as Zuckerberg puts it. Facebook revealed more information about its investments in neural interfaces to communicate with augmented reality (AR) last month.
“I believe that augmented and virtual reality will enable a deeper sense of presence and social connection than any other medium,” Zuckerberg said on Wednesday. “And they will play an important role in how we communicate with machines in the future. As a result, we will continue to invest extensively in creating the best experiences possible here. This accounts for a significant portion of our overall R&D budget expansion.”
According to the CEO, Facebook’s better-than-expected success in recent quarters “has given us the courage to increase our investments meaningfully” in AR and VR. AR and VR, along with two other critical fields, commerce and creator help, “can shift the direction of the business in the long term.”
Because of the popularity of the Oculus Quest 2, Facebook’s wireless VR headset, Zuckerberg also emphasised AR and VR on Wednesday. Even after the holiday season, the product is performing better than predicted.
“In terms of what changed,” he said, “I think the major piece here is that Quest 2 is doing very well.” “And I don’t want to overstate it because, you know, relative to platforms that are big, huge successes today, it’s still clearly on the small end.”
However, “there’s been a very real inflexion in terms of acceptance and participation that we’re seeing,” he said.
Furthermore, he claims that Quest has “by far the best lineup of VR material.” Notably, the use cases have branched out from games.
“The most popular apps are social, which aligns with our original theory for why we decided to create this platform in the first place,” Zuckerberg said. “We still see efficiency and wellness apps.”
According to Zuckerberg, Facebook also has "a long way to go" in terms of developing its AR and VR platforms. "However, I believe that the feedback we're receiving from our products is giving us more hope that our forecast for the future here will come true and that we're concentrating on the right places."