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Facebook’s top VR researcher explains why augmented reality is the future

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks at his company’s annual F8 developer meet .

Image: AP/ REX/ Shutterstock

Augmented reality is the future because it’s a lot more socially acceptable than virtual reality. That was the surprising sense from Chief Oculus Scientist Michael Abrash at F8.

During his parcel of the keynote, when numerous in attendance may have suspected he would dive more passionately into Oculus’ recent virtual reality advancements, Abrash instead laid down by an ambitious see for how how augmented actuality will eventually become as ubiquitous as the personal computer.

That Oculus’ top scientist depleted almost half an hour talking almost exclusively about augmented actuality , not virtual reality, may seem surprising, specially considering Facebook time exhausted its first real social VR app for Oculus, Facebook Infinite.

But Abrash made it quite clear why Facebook is so heavily invested in augmented actuality. In short, virtual reality will never be as ubiquitous as AR, because it will never be socially acceptable to use VR headsets in public, even if you are able do so safely.

On the other hand, “full AR, ” as Abrash described, will merely necessary transparent glasses that look like the eyeglasses parties already wear.

“Bright as the future of VR is though, and knowing what my crew at Oculus Research is working on I’d say it’s very bright surely, there’s one key points that they are able to never be VR’s strong suit: always on, go-everywhere, mixed actuality, ” Abrash said.

“Because no matter how good VR comes, few people would be comfortable fraternizing with someone whose eyes they can’t participate and social adequacy is an ultimate requirement for anything we wear in public.”

“Social acceptability is an ultimate requirement for anything we wear in public.”

That may sound self-evident, since anyone who has tried a VR headset could tell you it’s not socially acceptable to wear outside a gaming deep-seated. Abrash’s observes, nonetheless, are just a few of the most powerful commands we’ve examined hitherto on why Facebook is investing so heavily in augmented reality.

It’s too a little bit of a reality check( pun intended) for the VR community. “Bright” as the future of VR is, it indicates there are some very real limits to how far information and communication technologies can go.

That doesn’t mean that there’s no target for virtual reality, however.

“VR will be the most immersive way to interact with the virtual macrocosm and it will revolutionize how “were working” and play, ” Abrash said.

But if it’s not something that will be socially acceptable in public, it raises the issue of whether VR will be able to expand beyond its niche appeal. If everyone will have AR glasses in five or 10 years as Abrash foresaw, how many parties will too miss clunky VR headsets?

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