Back in April, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg unveiled his grand ten-year roadmap, showing the company’s trajectory from now through 2026.
It points the way to Facebook’s ideal future: A world where everybody’s connected to the internet, where we talk to artificially intelligent computers as if they were human, and — boldest of all — where virtual reality goggles are as common as our smartphones, allowing us to connect with people across the world as intimately as if they were in the same room.
Facebook moved the marker on this ambitious roadmap a little bit forward this week, with more details on how the social network will operate in its ideal virtual reality future. In a demo, Zuckerberg showed off “Social VR,” using a combination of the Oculus Rift headset and a 360-degree camera to mash together virtual reality and the real world like never before.
That’s not to say it will be easy for Facebook.
Just this week, Google held its own big event. And while that presentation was ostensibly to introduce new hardware, it also gave us a glimpse of how Google is thinking about its own future — and the ways in which Facebook’s 10-year strategy overlap with Google’s.
Their core businesses couldn’t be more different — Facebook’s efforts to break into search haven’t yielded much result; Google’s attempts to become a social network are pretty much Silicon Valley punchlines at this point.
Yet in many important ways, Facebook and Google are already going punch-for-punch in a fight that won’t be over any time soon.