Earlier in April 2016, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had shared the company’s ten-year road map including world wide internet connectivity, artificial intelligence and virtual reality.
Speaking at the annual Web Summit conference in Lisbon, Portugal, Facebook’s chief technology officer Mike Schroepfer elaborated on how the social network giant is planning to accelerate innovation in these areas.
“Facebook’s mission is to make the world more open and connected.” said Schroepfer.
“The most important problems we’re trying to solve for the future are falling into three major buckets. First, connecting billions of people around the world by bolstering internet access. Second, building truly intelligent machines that help manage the mass of information we have online, and third building truly immersive virtual reality experiences that lets us experience anything with anyone at any time”, he added.
Facebook’s 10 year roadmap as of April 2016
“The next 10 years is about bringing 4.1 billion people’s voice to the internet who don’t have internet access,” Schroepfer said. In order to do that, the company has been working on innovative solutions, such as a solar-powered giant drone that can beam internet to rural areas from high altitudes.
Schroepfer has also mentioned about Caffe2Go, a deep learning AI image and video-processing model that enables users to apply special effects in real time 100 times more efficient than previous versions.
Video style transfer demo by Facebook
Why 2016 is the year that Virtual Reality going to work?
Elaborating on why virtual reality is going to take off after failing to capture the consumers in 80’s and 90’s, Schroepfer said “Humanity has always been fascinated with the idea of augmenting senses and giving a presence of being somewhere else. But like artificial intelligence we needed to wait for all the component technologies to catch up with us.”
Comparing the games graphics from 1980 to 2016, Schroepfer stated that the rapid market march of progress now allows us to build this sense of immersion that we longed for many years.
Facebook is working on a wireless standalone VR headset
“We want to make virtual reality cheaper, easy to use and more widely distributed,” Schroepfer said.
As a plan to achieve this vision, Facebook CTO mentioned that the company is working on a wireless ‘Standalone’ VR headset with cameras that can track the position of the user’s movements.
The ‘Standalone’ VR headset does not need any external equipment or a PC to function and was earlier revealed at Oculus Connect 3 event by Mark Zuckerberg.
“No PC required, no cables, nothing… This is the sort of technology that we think will eventually bring VR to the masses,” Schroepfer added.