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Bill Gates says VR and AR won’t remain separate forever

Microsoft co-founder and world-renowned philanthropist Bill Gates has met with the masses of Reddit again for his fourth AMA chat.

The computing pioneer covered a wide range of topics, including the future of AR/VR, Apple’s ongoing battle with the FBI – and whether he’s considered running for President of the United States.

When asked about whether Microsoft plans to offer a full virtual-reality system alongside its augmented-reality-based HoloLens platform, Gates suggested the augmented and virtual worlds may move closer in the future.

“VR is the extreme case of AR, when nothing from the real world is mixed in,” he wrote. “It can be tricky if you’re walking around that you might run into things.

Mixed systems seems like VR but when you might hit something it shows you… seems better than pure VR. So I don’t think these two things will stay as separate as they are now.”

Related: Microsoft HoloLens explained

The Windows mastermind expanded on his timid support for Apple in its encryption battle with the FBI.

He reiterated his comments during the AMA, but called on Cupertino to be pro-active in suggesting a balance between tech companies and law enforcement agencies.

He added: “Maybe [Apple] could propose an overall plan for striking the balance between government being able to know things in some cases and having safeguards to make sure those powers are confined to appropriate cases. There is no avoiding this debate and they could contribute to how the balance should be struck.”

Elsewhere, Gates answered a question on why he wouldn’t be running for President of the United States.

He wrote: “I like my current job at the Foundation better than I would being President. Also, I wouldn’t be good at doing what you need to do to get elected. I thought Michael Bloomberg was thoughtful about why it didn’t make sense for him to try to run, even though he is a great executive.”

Humorously, in a tweet to promote the AMA, Gates recreated the 1973 photo from his high-school yearbook, which is the one you see above.


During the chat, Gates also goes into detail on climate change, quantum computing, artificial intelligence and much more. You can check it out here.

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