Facebook: Our Augmented Reality Platform Will Replace TV Screens

Getty Images / Justin Sullivan

In the next ten years, augmented reality could replace your physical TV, Mark Zuckerberg said during Facebook’s first quarter earnings call on Wednesday.

Facebook recently released a platform for the Facebook Camera that allows users and designers to create augmented reality effects. During the Facebook earnings call, Zuckerberg said that he thinks augmented reality will be able to replace expensive physical items like televisions with a simple one dollar app. Zuckerberg said he thinks opening the camera app will let Facebook lead the way in augmented reality development. And while Snapchat wasn’t mentioned by name, it’s clear that Facebook is gunning for that market.

Replacing a television wouldn’t happen on something like a phone, but on something like augmented reality glasses, Zuckerberg said. “I think we are going to get to a point where things like TVs, you no longer need a physical TV, you’ll get a $1 app that you can watch a screen on. It will just be an interesting exercise to how many of the things that we have that are physical things don’t actually need to be physical.”

And Zuckerberg isn’t really stopping with getting rid of your TV. “There are lots of different ways that over time, this kind of content is going to augment existing real-world objects and eventually replace them, which I think is going to be an interesting opportunity.”

“There are also going to be all of these new sorts of things that we’re not even building today,” he said. “Using object recognition and computer vision, [you could] be able to point your camera at something and get a card of information about it and maybe even a buy button.” This sounds very similar to an augmented reality version of the information tiles in the new Google Earth, but augmented reality is a big part of Facebook’s Act 2 project to take back users from things like Snapchat.

“A lot of that stuff is pretty far out, five or ten years, but we want to be pushing that forward,” Zuckerberg said. He also pointed out that since the Facebook Camera platform is open, developers around the world can build augmented reality with just their phones in the app. This both advances developers around the world, and gives Facebook a step over Snapchat in replacing your TV.