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  1. ITV Report

Mark Zuckerberg: Virtual reality is the next platform

Virtual reality is the future of communication and socialising, Facebook's boss Mark Zuckerberg has said.

The billionaire founder of the popular social network said that the headset-based technology is "the next platform", during a surprise appearance at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

"At Facebook we think about giving people richer tools," he said.

Going back 10 years most of what we shared was text, and then it was photos.

And now we're entering a world where that's video.

But pretty soon we're going to live in a world where everyone has the power to share and experience whole scenes as if you're right there in person

– Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook, which bought virtual reality firm Oculus for two billion US dollars in 2014, has since partnered with Samsung to create the Gear VR headset, which can be bought for less than £100 and works by slotting a Samsung Galaxy smartphone into it to use as a screen.

Zuckerberg added:

VR is the next platform, where anyone can create and experience anything they want.

Right now, VR is mostly used for games and entertainment, but that's quickly evolving, and one day you're going to be able to put on a headset and that's going to change the way that you live, work and communicate.

So imagine being able to sit in front of a campfire and hang out with your friends any time that you want, or watch a movie in a private theatre with your friends any time you want. Imagine holding a group meeting or event anywhere that you want.

All these things are going to be possible, and that's why Facebook is investing so much early on in virtual reality, so we can help to deliver these kind of social experiences.

– Mark Zuckerberg
New Samsung S7 (R) and S7 edge smartphones. Credit: Reuters

During the press conference, Samsung unveiled its two new smartphones - the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge - using virtual reality, giving each attendee a Gear VR through which the new phones appeared in front of them for the first time.