Apr 21, 2017
Mark Zuckerberg Just Signed a Death Warrant for Smartphones
At a recent conference, Mark Zuckerberg outlined Facebook's ten-year plan involving enhancements in AI and virtual/augmented reality. These moves are signaling the eventual move away from smartphone technology into more ubiquitous all-encompassing tech.
IN BRIEFAt a recent conference, Mark Zuckerberg outlined Facebook's ten-year plan involving enhancements in AI and virtual/augmented reality. These moves are signaling the eventual move away from smartphone technology into more ubiquitous all-encompassing tech.
It's no secret Mark Zuckerberg is pinning Facebook's prospects on augmented reality — technology that overlays digital imagery onto the real world, like Snapchat's signature camera filters.
At this year's F8 conference, taking place this week, Zuckerberg doubled down on the company's ambitious 10-year master plan, which was first revealed in 2016. According to this timeline, Facebook expects to turn artificial intelligence, ubiquitous internet connectivity, and virtual and augmented reality into viable parts of its business over the next decade.
To accelerate the rise of augmented reality, a big part of the plan, Zuckerberg unveiled the Camera Effects platform — basically a set of tools for outside developers to build augmented-reality apps that you can access from the existing Facebook app's camera. That would theoretically open the door for Facebook to host the next phenomenon like "Pokémon Go."
While this announcement seems pretty innocuous, make no mistake — Facebook is once againputting itself into direct competition with Google and Apple, trying to create yet another parallel universe of apps and tools that don't rely on the smartphones' marketplaces. As The New York Times notes, Zuckerberg has long been disappointed that Facebook never built a credible smartphone operating system of its own.
This time, though, Facebook is also declaring war on pretty much everyone else in the tech industry, too. While it'll take at least a decade to fully play out, the stuff Facebook is talking about today is just one more milestone on the slow march toward the death of the smartphoneand the rise of even weirder and wilder futures.
by Matt Weinberger