Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is excited about augmented reality tech, which he thinks can address a number of social problems.
Zuckerberg, in a Facebook post on Thursday (Jan. 9), predicted there would be a breakthrough in the technology, and massive progress, over the next decade.
He said that the technology of the 2010s was “on the mobile phone,” but going into the 2020s, he said he thought that while phones would still be prominent, there would be major gains in virtual reality that could “redefine our relationship with technology.”
Augmented reality is already being implemented in slow spurts. Companies like Microsoft and Magic Leaps have released VR headsets. And Facebook itself is working on augmented reality glasses.
Codenamed Orion, the glasses are currently being developed in Facebook’s labs in Redmond, Washington.
Facebook also wants to partner with Ray-Ban’s parent company, Luxottica, to release the glasses between 2023 and 2025.
And they’re also working on a voice assistant to control the glasses, according to CNBC.
Facebook’s forays into virtual reality started in 2014 when it bought Oculus VR for $2 billion. Last year, it released an Oculus Rift S augmented reality gaming headset, which has been released in several versions over the years.
In Zuckerberg’s Facebook post, he addressed some critiques of VR, among them that it looks unnatural. Zuckerberg acknowledged that some current and earlier versions had been “clunky,” but thought it could grow into “the most human and social technology platform yet.”
He said he thought VR had the potential to address pressing social issues, such as ballooning housing costs and economic inequality.
With VR, Zuckerberg said people could work remotely and not have to spend money on expensive housing and travel costs. He said if they commit to the premise, they could be done with the technology before 2030.
And more companies will follow as they switch to 5G technology, which will help VR technology flourish.