The Facebook founder spoke on the company’s AR and VR developments saying that its research into the space – from Facebook Reality Labs – is about delivering presence without physical travel.
Mr Zuckerberg said, according to venture capitalist Josh Constine, that the main challenge for these technologies is that they require a form-factor that users will expect, such as thick-rimmed glasses. The challenge is making the technology small enough to fit that body.
Facebook apparently has a roadmap for development of VR and AR technologies – expected to take four to five years – and that the such technology could be used in remote working environments.
Speaking about the coronavirus pandemic, Mr Zuckerberg said that lockdowns have revealed that there is no reason for employers to tie recruiting employees to physical locations and offices – hypothesising that VR and AR could unlock the ability for people to live where they want while being ‘present’ where they need to be.
Other benefits include more productive workers, the CEO added, and reducing carbon emissions. “We should be teleporting, not transporting ourselves”, Mr Zuckerberg concluded.
Andrew Bosworth tweeted that the company is “supercharging remote work and productivity” by creating a mixed reality environment.
In the tweet, Mr Bosworth shows floating displays that can be moved and re-sized via gesture control, as well as the user typing on a keyboard with a virtual taskbar over it for shortcuts, including the Windows icon and Facebook.
Mr Zuckerberg predicts that half of its workforce will likely work remotely over the next decade.
“We need to do this in a way that’s thoughtful and responsible, so we’re going to do this in a measured way,” he said.
“But I think that it’s possible that over the next five to 10 years — maybe closer to 10 than five, but somewhere in that range — I think we could get to about half of the company working remotely permanently”.
“Write messages however you’d like, whether typing them out in VR, selecting a pre-written conversation starter, or using our voice-to-text feature”, Facebook said.