Will brain-powered tech kill the smartphone?

- We're with them all day, every day, never leaving home without them, but could we really soon live in a time when our smartphones are obsolete? Some say, yes.

"It's real, it's happening and it's actually a little bit scary," said Matt Weinberger, a senior tech writer at Business Insider.

For proof just look at Facebook, which announced Thursday that it is working on a system that would let you type straight from your brain, about 5 times as fast you can currently type on your phone.

"Think about how many of the things we have in our lives that actually don't need to be physical, they can be digital," said Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg, speaking about the social network's plans to launch new virtual and augmented reality platforms.

What does that actually mean?

It would look like "computers you wear on your face that kind of bring the physical world and the digital world together," Weinberger explained.

Remember Google Glass? Weinberger said Facebook is looking to create a newer and better version of those that would combine elements of Snapchat filters and games like Pokémon Go.

"A lot of that [technology] is here today and it's getting better all the time," Weinberger said. "The real challenge, the real work to be done over the next half-decade, decade is making it as usable as a smartphone, as useful, as fun to use."

Despite rapid advancements in virtual and augmented technology, not everyone is convinced that the death of the smartphone is imminent.

We asked Columbia computer science majors to weigh in.

"I don't see us moving to VR completely because it's very dangerous and very costly," said junior Alyssa Lee.

"I think most people aren't ready to spend a lot of money on it and they're not ready to ditch real reality yet," said Steven Carnavale.

Weinberger and Zuckerberg acknowledge there's a lot of work to be done to make virtual and augmented reality technology accessible, affordable, and appealing to the masses, and at least 10 years until we get to that point.

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