- The iPhone is one of the most famous and iconic devices ever made and continues to be Apple’s most important product, but there will come a time when a different type of device could replace the iPhone and smartphones in general.
- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg alluded to such a future in an interview with YouTube sensational Marquees Brownlee in which the two discussed Facebook’s foray into virtual and augmented reality.
- While Zuckerberg has been careful to openly criticize Apple or the iPhone, he hinted that the future of communication may not involve physical screens and has made no secret that Facebook will compete in that landscape.
The Apple Watch keynote from Apple and the revelation of the price and release date of Sony̵
When you think of Facebook and Zuckerberg, topics like user privacy and personal data mismanagement, election manipulation, questionable business practices, and social media toxicity should come to the fore. However, that’s not what Brownlee addressed during the interview, focusing directly on the future of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). If you can put a few large brooches in all the problems that Zuckerberg and co. You still need to confront and disassociate yourself from any pre-existing anger towards Facebook, the interview is quite interesting. The CEO gave the audience a rare insight into his vision of these two technologies Facebook is involved in through its engagement with Oculus. This is where Zuckerberg explained exactly what will kill the iPhone in the future, without explicitly addressing the most popular gadget ever made. And this is where it seemed to make it clear that Facebook is also aiming for that position.
A number of rumors have claimed that Apple is making AR glasses on its own. Initially, the devices will work with the iPhone, needing to connect to the device wirelessly, just like the Apple Watch does. Apple needs to develop this technology right now, long before others get more traction with similar ideas. This is because future versions of the AR glasses may not require pairing with a real smartphone. If a wearable device that looks like a regular pair of glasses is powerful enough to project any hologram in front of your eyes, you won’t need a physical screen in your pocket to look at a screen and interact with apps. The gadget would give you access to a virtual screen that you will interact with via gestures, without the need for a physical object in your hands. The iPhone could be on your face. Or it could be a screenless device that you carry in your pocket.
It turns out that this is what Zuckerberg envisions for the future of AR glasses, and that’s where he will be directing his AR and VR efforts over the next few years.
The CEO told Brownlee that the world receives major new technology platforms every 15 years. Each of them “offers a more engaging experience and allows us to communicate with the people, companies and things we care about around the world with greater fidelity.”
The phones in his pocket are already “pretty amazing,” he said. “You have this incredibly powerful computer in your pocket, but it’s not the end of the line,” explained Zuckerberg. The phone takes you away from the world around you, is immersive, and achieves all of this with a relatively small screen.
Speaking of the next generation platforms, Zuckerberg said that “the essence of virtual and augmented reality is that you need to have technology that offers this feeling of presence, the feeling of actually being there with another person and all the feelings that normally comes with that, “he said.
VR and AR will offer users new experiences that will be more immersive than before than the screen-centric experiences available right now. With phones, tablets, and TVs, you’re convincing your brain that you’re elsewhere, Zuckerberg said. But VR and AR will actually allow the mind to believe you are somewhere else. These devices will be able to project people and objects in real time and engage other senses, including sound and touch.
Zuckerberg said AR glasses would be “good looking normal glasses, not something very thick”. They would be devices that last all day, capable of projecting holograms into the world.
This all makes sense for both AR and VR, with a special emphasis on the latter. But this is where Zuckerberg dropped the gem that makes it clear that Facebook’s CEO thinks screens won’t necessarily be needed in the future. He said the “trippy” thing he’s thinking about is further away. “Once we have really good mature AR glasses, we won’t even need other kids of screens anymore,” he said, making sure never to mention smartphones. “Things like TVs and tablets could all be digital holograms,” and they could be apps that power experiences that previously needed physical screens.
Listening to Zuckerberg talk about what could be the death of the smartphone and iPhone is worrying enough for a variety of reasons, including where we put some huge pins. Like Zuckerberg, Apple may have similar thoughts, which is why the company wants to have its AR glasses well before others can beat it on the market with more exciting designs.
Although the Facebook CEO did not openly attack Apple during the interview, he did so in a passive-aggressive manner. He acknowledged that Apple and others might be working on AR devices, but said no one is investing as much as Facebook. He made it clear that he has been shaking Samsung phones for years and that he has instructed other Facebook executives to use Android, not iPhone like everyone else. It also linked Spotify, which has criticized Apple’s app practices for years. Unsurprisingly, considering Facebook chased Apple for stricter privacy protections in iOS 14 just a few weeks ago. But we won’t unlock those pins right now. Brownlee’s full interview with Zuckerberg follows in full below.