Published on May 25th, 2021 | by Emergent Enterprise0
Mark Zuckerberg Calls AR Glasses “One of the Hardest Technical Challenges of the Decade”
When tech tycoon execs like Tim Cook or Mark Zuckerberg talk, people listen. They may not always agree but they listen. In the case of the Facebook CEO’s prognostications about AR in this article by Stephanie Condon at ZDNet, he is probably right. One of the biggest deterrents to AR/VR mainstream adoption is the clumsy user experience of the headset. It’s either too bulky and uncomfortable or small enough but not able to do much. It’s going to take micro hardware that allows for big power in a little processor that fits seamlessly in a pair of glasses. With big names like Apple and Facebook working on it, it will eventually happen but as Zuck says, it’s not going to be easy. Maybe the Oculus Quest 5?
The Facebook CEO said the potential for the augmented reality market will open up once you can fit a supercomputer onto a pair of glasses.
Virtual reality and augmented reality represent a key area of investment for Facebook, CEO Mark Zuckerberg stressed Wednesday during an earnings conference call. And while the company has hit some key milestones in advancing VR, Zuckerberg said that building AR glasses that can gain mainstream acceptance will be “one of the hardest technical challenges of the decade.”
The challenge comes down to “basically fitting a supercomputer in the frame of glasses,” Zuckerberg said. “I find that a very exciting problem to work on. And I think that once that’s achievable, potential on that is going to be quite big.”
Facebook has for years clearly conveyed the potential it sees for VR and AR to become, as Zuckerberg puts it, “the next computing platform.” Last month, Facebook shared more about its investments in areas like neural interfaces for interacting with AR.
“I believe that that augmented and virtual reality are going to enable a deeper sense of presence and social connection than any existing platform,” Zuckerberg said Wednesday. “And they’re going to be an important part of how we will interact with computers in the future. So we’re gonna keep investing heavily in building out the best experiences here. And this accounts for a major part of our overall R&D budget growth.”
Facebook’s better-than-expected performance in recent quarters “has given us the confidence to increase our investments meaningfully” in AR and VR, the CEO said. Along with two other key areas — commerce and supporting creators — AR and VR “have the potential to change the trajectory of the company over the long term.”