In the investor call following Facebook's most recent quarterly results, Facebook CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg painted an ambitious vision for virtual reality by way of explaining his motivation for acquiring Oculus VR.
The social networking company agreed to pay $2 billion
for the VR startup earlier this year; the transaction closed this week, bringing it formally into the Facebook family.
"We can help define what the next generation of computing is going to be."
But why? By way of explaining the acquisition of Oculus VR, Zuckerberg said, "We've mostly been a company that has played on top of the different mobile foundations other people have built," Zuckerberg said. Facebook was founded in 2004, between the introduction of the smartphone and its popularization.
"One of the things I care really deeply about on a 10-year arc for the company is having a different relation to what the next set of computing platforms are. We can help define what the next generation of computing is going to be."
"We're really excited to welcome that team. They're extremely talented and have pulled off something that people have been talking about for a really long time and now is possible thanks to the technology that team has developed," he said of Oculus VR.
"Expect us to continue investing heavily"
In general, he said, his company is placing bets on the direction computing will go in the future: "Expect us to continue investing heavily, and our costs will increase," he told investors. "There are huge opportunities to build the next generation of computing platforms."
Zuckerberg also alluded to investments in augmented reality, vision technology, and AI as other priorities alongside Oculus, whether they pay off in a "five or 10-year time frame" or even "further out than that."
This is an expansion on what Zuckerberg said at the time
of the acquisition's announcement, when he mentioned there would be advantages to "whoever builds and defines" future computing platforms, and that his hope was for VR to become "more of an ubiquitous computing platform" than a "traditional console opportunity" in the games space.