Mark Zuckerberg, Founder and CEO at Facebook, believes augmented reality technology could help address the rising climatic change concerns that continue to trouble environmentalists worldwide.
In an interview, Zuckerberg said the ability to “teleport around” could combat climate change by helping people hold in-person meetings virtually and speak as if they’re in the same location.
This could be achieved by removing the need for travelling both for business and even leisure.
″Obviously, there are going to keep on being cars and planes and all that. But the more that we can teleport around, not only are we personally eliminating commutes and stuff that’s kind of a drag for us individually, but I think that’s better for society and for the planet overall, too,” Zuckerberg said.
He sees AR as the key to cut down on travel or commute time. As a major agent of AR technology himself, Zuckerberg envisions a future where smart glasses could be normal-looking and provide a user with the ability to see content alongside the real world.
Facebook investments in augmented reality(AR) and virtual reality(VR) are growing, showing its dedication to developing the next computing interface after the smartphone. The company bought CTRL-labs, a neural interface platform company, for approximately $1 billion, adding it to Facebook Reality Labs, it’s home of AR and VR technology, in September 2019.
It also purchased Oculus in 2014 for $2 billion and has been making Oculus-branded consumer faced VR headsets since.
The company’s cash splurge on VR and AR is based on the premise that these technologies could be used far beyond entertainment.
Zuckerberg says the application could permeate into workplaces as well. This is not unusual per se. Facebook’s head of AR and VR, Andrew Bosworth, showcased a short clip on Twitter in 2020 around their ultimate mission of “supercharging remote work and productivity” using these two technologies.
Facebook plans to tackle emerging needs brought about by an increasingly distributed workforce as Email, chat, and video are no longer cutting it. The social media giant is building a “deep tech stack and tools” to carve out the future of remote work, in which travelling for work is optional, and you can work from anywhere.
“Next-generation devices would give people infinite workspaces with configurable virtual screens, whiteboards, and other visionary tools,” the company wrote in a blog post.
Zuckerberg’s sentiments in the recent interview showcase the company’s increased efforts to make AR and VR technologies a reality and to see them apply to different areas in people’s lives away from entertainment.
“Rather than calling someone or having a video chat, you just kind of snap your fingers and teleport, and you’re sitting there, and they’re on their couch, and it feels like you’re there together,” Zuckerberg said.