When Google wanted people to know it was serious about virtual reality two years ago, it sent software developers attending its I/O conference home with Google Cardboard -- a cheap, build-it-yourself VR headset that developers could use with Samsung Galaxy smartphones. When Facebook wanted people to know it was serious about VR on Tuesday, it sent software developers attending its F8 conference -- all 2,600 of them -- home with Gear VR headsets, which retail at $99.99, and Samsung Galaxy S6 smartphones, which cost $598 apiece. Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg's announcement of the high-end swag was met with emphatic applause from the audience of developers, who packed an auditorium in San Francisco's Fort Mason Center to hear him detail the company's 10-year plan. The Gear VR may not rival the coveted, high-end virtual reality headset released last month by Oculus VR, which Facebook acquired in 2014 for $2 billion. But it was enough to drive the message home: VR will play a big role in Facebook's future -- and so will developers who embrace the medium.
When Facebook launched in 2004, CEO Mark Zuckerbeg couldn't have imagined that his fledgling social network would one day build a solar-powered plane that would beam Internet connectivity to remote areas. That's happening right now: It's called Aquila, and it flys 60,000 feet above the ground for months at a time to connect the world. This plane is part of Zuckerberg's vision for the next year. But he also has incredibly specific long-term goals, like this one: In 10 years, virtual reality headsets like Oculus Rift will look like your average pair of prescription glasses with the ability to view VR worlds and augmented reality overlays at the same time. Zuckerberg outlined Facebook's 1-year, 5-year, and 10-year roadmaps during the opening keynote of F8, the network's annual developer conference.
If Facebook has its way, augmented reality will represent a bigger reality in our daily lives. On Tuesday, CEO Mark Zuckerberg outlined Facebook's vision for AR in a keynote before software developers at the F8 conference in San Jose, Calif. "We're making the camera the first augmented reality platform," said Zuckerberg, detailing several ways everyday Facebook users can leverage AR. On the Games front, Messenger will add a Games tab and enable turn-by-turn games as well as more real-time gaming. Messenger will include smart replies, where businesses can automatically reply to users on Messenger.
Facebook has given the first glimpse of what its virtual reality app might look light. At the firm's developer conference in San Francisco, it showed off a VR'selfie stick' allowing people to take holiday snaps in any location they visit virtually. The demonstration used the Oculus Rift, Facebook's VR headset which it began delivering to consumers last month. The demonstration used the Oculus Rift, Facebook's VR headset, and allowed an employee in San Francisco to take a selfie in virtual London with an employee 30 miles away. Michael Booth of Facebook showed off the technology on stage, visiting a virtual London to take a snap on a bridge - even though the two people in it were in separate locations around Silicon Valley.
Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg took to the stage on Tuesday at the company's F8 developers conference to kick off the event with a major look into the future and a very cool surprise for attendees. See also: Facebook's Surround camera captures 360-degree video in 8K But before he dived into tech, Zuck doubled down on comments he made in recent weeks, lightly touching on issue of immigration and even taking a very veiled swipe at GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump. But even that moment was fairly harmless, as his message mostly focused on a message of bringing the planet together and connecting all the people in it, one at a time. To that end, Zuckerberg then unveiled Facebook's grand 10-year plan. Back in the boom time of the '80s, when Japan was on the rise, U.S. business leaders often touted how Japanese businesses planned decades and even centuries ahead, rather than for the short term, like Western companies.