For the past decade, Facebook has focused on connecting with friends and family. And now with that foundation, our next focus is building community. We’ve always done a lot of work to help people share and get a diversity of opinions out there. And we’re always going to do this. But now in addition, we’re also working on building common ground, not just getting more different opinions out there but also helping to bring people closer together. And there’s a lot to do here.
We have a full roadmap of products to help build groups and community, help build a more informed society, and help keep our community safe. And we have a lot more to do here, and we’re reminded of this — this week by the tragedy in Cleveland. And our hearts go out to the family and friends of Robert Godwin Sr. And we have a lot of work and we will keep doing all we can to prevent tragedies like this from happening.
Now, since this is F8 — our developer conference — today we’re going to focus on the technology that we’re building together for the long term. Because in the future, technology is going to keep — make us more productive and that’s going to change how we all work. It’s going to free us up to spend one more time on the things we all care about, like enjoying and interacting with each other and expressing ourselves in new ways.
In the future, I think that more of us are going to contribute to culture and society in ways that are not measured by traditional economics and GDP. Or more of us are going to do what today is concerned the arts. And that’s going to form the basis of a lot of our communities. So that’s why I’m so excited about augmented reality, because it’s going to make it so that we can create all kinds of things that until today have only been possible in the digital world and we’re going to build to interact with them and explore them together.
So at last year’s F8, we talked about our 10-year roadmap to give everyone in the world the power to share anything they want with anyone. And one of the key long term technologies that we talked about is augmented reality. Now we all know where we want this to get eventually, right? We want glasses or eventually contact lenses that look and feel normal but that let us overlay all kinds of information and digital objects on top of the real world. So we can just be sitting here and we want to play chess — Snap! Here’s a chessboard and we can play together. Or you want to watch TV, we can put a digital TV on that wall and instead of being a piece of hardware, it’s a one dollar app instead of a $500 piece of equipment.
So think about how many of the things that we have in our lives actually don’t need to be physical, they can be digital, and think about how much better and more affordable and accessible they are going to be when they are. So think about going to Rome on vacation and having information about the Colosseum overlaid on the actual building or directions overlaid on the actual street. And think about if your daughter is a big Harry Potter fan, for her birthday, you can change your home into Hogwarts, although I bet some of you were hoping I had the toilet paper [money].
Now we’re all about extending the physical world online. When you become friends with someone on Facebook, your relationship gets stronger. When you join a community online, that physical community gets stronger. So augmented reality is going to help us mix the digital and the physical in all new ways and that’s going to make our physical reality better. So that’s why this is such an important trend.
Now when we talk about augmented reality, there are three important use cases that we think about: the ability to display information, like directions, or messages and notifications; the ability to add digital objects, like the chessboard or the TV screen I was talking about; and the ability to enhance existing objects, like your home or your face.
Now I used to think that glasses were going to be the first mainstream augmented reality platform, and that we get them, you know, maybe five or ten years from now, we get the form factor that we all want. But over the last couple of years, we started to see primitive versions of each of these use cases on our phones and cameras. So for displaying information we’ve all seen people take photos or write text on them or circle things or draw arrows to highlight information. For digital objects, we have games like Pokémon where you can overlay a digital Pokémon on top of the real world in front of you. And for enhancements, we have things like face filters and style transfers to make our images and videos more fun.
Now a lot of people look at the stuff and it seems so basic, right? And you ask, you know, maybe this is just what kids are into doing these things. But we look at this and we see something different: we see the beginning of a new platform. We’re not using primitive tools today, because we prefer primitive tools. We’re using primitive tools because we’re still early in the journey to create better of these. And in order to create better tools, first we need an open platform where any developer in the world can build for augmented reality without having to first build their own camera and get a lot of people to use it. But when you look around at all the different cameras that are out there today, no one has built a platform yet.