Facebook VR leader talks about the future of virtual reality

  • As virtual reality expands from just video gamers to a mass market, Facebook's Hugo Barra said that virtual reality and augmented reality will connect people regardless of physical location.
  • Virtual reality and augmented reality will continue to grow in tandem, Barra said, because they serve two different purposes: virtual reality immerses users in other places, while augmented reality interact with the environment they're in.

Hugo Barra, the vice president of virtual reality at Facebook, spoke with CNBC's Josh Lipton about the future of virtual reality as its new Oculus headset launched.

The new virtual reality headset, named Quest, costs $399 and will be released in the spring.

As virtual reality expands from just video gamers to a mass market, Barra said that virtual reality and augmented reality will connect people regardless of physical location.

"The power of this idea is so significant that you almost have to believe it's going to happen, it's just a matter when," Barra said.

As the company continues to grow its virtual reality business, Barra said there needs to be a two-sided marketplace with developers and creators to the consumers so there's enough content and buyers "for the whole ecosystem to flourish." He said Facebook expects the tipping point for this is when there are 10 million people on one platform.

Virtual reality and augmented reality will continue to grow in tandem, Barra said, because they serve two different purposes: virtual reality immerses users in other places, while augmented reality interact with the environment they're in.

Barra also commented on the departure of Instagram Co-Founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger on Sept. 24. He said that they have done "terrific things" for the company and he wishes them well.