Zuckerberg Places Bet on Smartphone AR


Social media CEOs—they're just like us! Mark Zuckerberg admitted during Wednesday's earnings call that he, too, plays Pokemon Go.

"I, like everyone else, am enjoying Pokemon Go," he told analysts on the call.

But the Facebook chief is just as interested in the underlying platform as catching pocket monsters.

"The biggest thing that I think we can take away from this as we invest in augmented reality in addition to virtual reality, is that the phone is probably going to be the mainstream consumer platform," versus a glasses form factor, Zuck said.

As mobile apps like Google SkyMap and Niantic's Ingress prove, there is a demand for handheld AR programs. Wearables, meanwhile, are still not as widely accessible (and often not as affordable) as smartphones.

Facebook is reportedly planning to leverage face-swapping features it picked up in March as part of its Masquerade (MSQRD) acquisition.

"I think we're seeing this [augmented reality] in a number of places, whether it's location through Pokemon or some of the face-filter activity," Zuckerberg said, referencing MSQRD. "That's kind of a fun way to augment social experiences that you're having with someone.

It's still early for augmented reality, though, and there is plenty of room to grow.

"As people look for richer and richer ways to express themselves," the Facebook head said, "we think in the future more of that is going to be video and more of these augmented reality tools I think are going to be an important part of delivering that experience and making that fun to use and expressive as it can be."

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