Mark Zuckerberg Has an Ambitious Goal for Virtual Reality

Facebook CEO wants to get “a billion” people using VR

You can’t say Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t aim high.

The Facebook CEO wants to see a major jump in the adoption of virtual reality, he announced at the Oculus’ Connect Conference on Wednesday.

“We’re setting a goal: we want to get a billion people in virtual reality,” said Zuckerberg.

If that sounds ambitious, that’s because it is. VR is still in its embryonic stages, with most hardware developers hesitant to reveal sales numbers. For reference, 2.3 million VR and augmented reality headsets were shipped in the first quarter of 2017.

Zuckerberg didn’t put a timeline on hitting the milestone, but other VR execs remain bullish on the technology in the decade ahead. Paramount Futurist-in-Residence Ted Schilowitz said last week at TheWrap’s TheGrill conference in Beverly Hills that the industry is “hitting a bit of a gestation period.” Nevertheless, he said the “next wave of commercialization is already happening.”

One of the key issues holding back VR from mass appeal has been the expensive and often clunky gear needed to view experiences. Facebook took a step towards addressing this on Wednesday, debuting the Oculus Go, a $199 lightweight headset. The Go is equipped with integrated spatial audio, optimized 3-D graphics and comes with a pocket-sized handheld controller. It’ll go on sale in early 2018.

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