Soon fans will cheer on soccer team Manchester United with real-time data and video from the match. When ManU scores, it shows up in Facebook as a big flashing “GOALLLL” as you hear the roar of the crowd and confetti flies.
In his signature gray T-shirt and jeans, Zuckerberg, 32, is in the zone, describing this very near future that is deeply entwined with his view of how communication is evolving, from text to photo to video and now, digitally altered physical reality — all via the Facebook app on your smartphone.
Facebook has poured billions of dollars into artificial intelligence research and virtual reality development, including its $3 billion acquisition of pioneering virtual reality headset maker Oculus. Yet virtual reality hasn’t really taken off yet, partially hobbled by the bulkiness of headsets and the expense of computing gear, as well as people’s general unfamiliarity with it.
Later on, out to dinner at a friend’s neighborhood joint, next to that night’s specials might be a note left by a friend telling you what to order and what to avoid.
All of the 3-D objects software developers build today will lay the groundwork for the digital world to meld with the physical one, Zuckerberg says.
“One day, five to seven years from now, when we actually have the glasses that we want, there will be all this content that you can start to interact with.”
He cautions much of augmented reality will take time to develop. But it’s hard for Zuckerberg to mask his enthusiasm. Nearly all of his Facebook posts in the run-up to the F8 conference have featured camera effects, like the one that has him sporting a glitter beard: “Working on F8 and badly need to shave.”
“I’m not subtle,” he says, laughing. “I’m really excited about this.”