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posted by martyb on Friday October 13 2017, @01:06PM   Printer-friendly
from the do-you-see-what-I-see? dept.

"At every step along the way, the future is built by people who believe it can be better."

That's the message Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's CEO, brought to the company's fourth annual Oculus Connect virtual reality developer conference Wednesday. As in previous years, Zuckerberg joined the stage to discuss the promise of what virtual reality can be and show off some goodies.

The company tallied 100 million app downloads, he said, and added that the company continues to work on a less-bulky version of its headsets.

But he said the company has a goal: Get 1 billion people in VR.

Maybe Zuckerberg can take those billion people along on his virtual cartoon tour of Puerto Rico's hurricane damage.

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  • (Score: 2) by urza9814 on Friday October 13 2017, @07:31PM

    by urza9814 (3954) on Friday October 13 2017, @07:31PM (#581962) Journal

    The tech that comes out of low-latency, hi-resolution "VR entertainment" is directly applicable to remote surgery, VR tele-operation of heavy machinery, and countless other "useful" endeavors.

    I don't doubt that at all...but I DO doubt that Zuck is going to be involved in that. Remote surgery already exists and is already progressing, we've even discussed it here on Soylent []. Remote operation of heavy machinery already exists too. VR might help there, it might not, but if it happens it won't be because of Zuck because that isn't the market he's targeting.

    At best it could be used in those markets as re-purposed hardware, kinda like how PS3s got used for supercomputer clusters...which then got screwed when Sony decided to remove the Other OS option. But it won't be designed for that purpose, so at best it'll be a kludge if it's used that way, and frankly I wouldn't trust a doctor doing surgery using a Facebook gaming device because they won't be designed to the proper standards. This ISN'T something like a supercomputer that's just running calculations; you need near 100% certainty that the VR goggle isn't going to lock up or overheat or crash in the middle of surgery or someone dies. Facebook VR *might* drive down prices for components, but the only reason the Oculus even exists is because mobile phones are already driving down prices for the kinds of components it requires. So I'm not sure how much cost you're going to cut, particularly when you consider that things like medical devices and heavy machinery components carry high costs for compliance, testing, and liability reasons more than just the cost of the raw materials. In that kind of market, parts are cheap, even when they aren't.

    Soo...what, it'll inspire people? It'll popularize the IDEA of VR for such tasks? Hasn't that concept been around for decades already just waiting for the tech to catch up?

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