Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently talked about the company’s VR/AR ambitions and criticized companies like Apple for their approach.
In an interview on The Information‘s 411 podcast, Zuckerberg answered questions around AR and VR, and where he thinks Facebook will play a role in that space. He also, when asked about Facebook’s aim to build its own experiences from the “ground up” rather than incorporating them into the App Store or Google Play Store, railed against the limitations of the App Store without using Apple by name.
“There’s obviously an aspect of this, which is being able to make sure that we design these systems so we can build the software experiences that we want,” said the CEO. “I’ve certainly found it a little bit constraining on mobile phones. You have these app stores that are pretty rigid in their rules. Certainly, there are things that I think would create better social experiences that we’re just simply not allowed to build. On desktop browsers, we have this whole gaming platform. We basically just weren’t allowed to bring that to mobile.”
Zuckerberg threw a jab at Apple by saying that the company’s main focus is to build AR and VR products at the lowest cost possible so it reaches the masses. In addition to this, the CEO went on to say that Facebook operates in a different model from “other companies in the space that basically charge premium prices as their business model.”
“Unlike some of the other companies in the space that basically charge premium prices as their business model, one of our core principles is we want to serve everyone,” Zuckerberg said. “I’m very focused not only on how you can create a good VR and AR device, but how do you make it so it’s $300 instead of $1,000.”
Apple’s AR headset is rumored to use pass-through technology, which will use external cameras to display the world around you on the internal screen. Zuckerberg downplayed the validity of this approach as well.
“You’re probably not going to want to live in a world of pass-through VR anytime soon because you’re not gonna want to give up the vividness of what your eyes can really see in terms of the contrast and brightness of the colors if everything is just slightly duller in VR,” he explained.
The entire 45-minute interview provides some interesting insight into Facebook’s inner workings. You can listen to the full conversation here.