Zuckerberg says telepathy is the future of communication
Facebook CEO believes we will all beam thoughts to each other directly in a few decades
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has once again highlighted the future potential of telepathy for social networking, by beaming thoughts directly into each others heads.
Rather than expressing it through text or speech, though, users will be able to distill their thoughts and feelings in their "ideal and perfect form in your head", and broadcast that.
"There's some pretty crazy brain research going on that suggests we might be able to do this at some point," he said. However, he also noted that the technology would not be available for "probably decades".
Zuckerberg has made similar assertions before, claiming last year that people will one day "have the power to share our full sensory and emotional experience with people whenever we'd like".
This is also not the first time that Facebook has looked at moving beyond the predominantly text-based system it currently uses. Indeed, Zuckerberg delivered the comments as part of a livestreamed Q&A, set up to demonstrate and promote the company's new live video feature.
The feature is designed to let people broadcast live feeds with just a smartphone or a webcam, and is Facebook's latest attempt to switch up the way users engage with its service.
The company has also invested heavily in virtual reality, snapping up leading VR company Oculus for $2 billion back in 2014 and recently announcing an open source VR camera for those looking to create VR and 360-degree content.
01/07/2015:Zuckerberg: One day friends will read each other's thoughts
Mindreading will one day become the primary means of communication, according to Mark Zuckerberg.
The Facebook founder last night predicted people will eventually be able to share their thoughts with friends, a thought he decided to share with the entire world via a Q&A hosted on his social network.
Talking about the evolution of communication from face-to-face, to online, to smartphones and, soon, augmented reality, he went on to say: "We'll have the power to share our full sensory and emotional experience with people whenever we'd like.
"You'll just be able to think of something and your friends will immediately be able to experience it too if you'd like. This would be the ultimate communication technology."
Claiming sharing is one of the major forces driving the world right now, Zuckerberg added that the written word is being left behind as people are able to share things via video and images.
"We used to just share in text, and now we post mainly with photos," he said. "In the future video will be even more important than photos. After that, immersive experiences like VR will become the norm."
Facebook is already working on virtual reality after buying Oculus Rift, which has a release date pegged for early 2016, and Zuckerberg went into some detail about how he sees VR working.
"Facebook is working on VR because I think it's the next major computing and communication platform after phones," he said, adding that this shift could occur in the next decade.
"In the future we'll probably still carry phones in our pockets, but I think we'll also have glasses on our faces that can help us out throughout the day and give us the ability to share our experiences with those we love in completely immersive and new ways that aren't possible today."
Ben Wood, chief of research at CCS Insight, said it was a bold prediction, and believes VR will not prove more popular than the smartphone.
"The mobile phone is the most prolific consumer electronics device on the planet and a whopping 1.5 billion smartphones are forecast to be sold this year alone," he said. "It's definitely a bold prediction from Mark Zuckerberg, and although we share his enthusiasm for virtual reality we don't believe VR devices will surpass phones in a decade."
He pointed to obstacles including the social acceptability of head-worn or smart glasses devices, pointing to Google Glass' unpopularity among consumers.
"Google Glass has done untold reputational damage in this area as it became a lightning conductor for privacy issues," Wood said. "These challenges will be overcome, but the ubiquitous use of VR devices in ten years seems unlikely."
The essential guide to cloud-based backup and disaster recovery
Support business continuity by building a holistic emergency planDownload now
Trends in modern data protection
A comprehensive view of the data protection landscapeDownload now
How do vulnerabilities get into software?
90% of security incidents result from exploits against defects in softwareDownload now
Delivering the future of work - now
The CIO’s guide to building the unified digital workspace for today’s hybrid and multi-cloud strategies.Download now