Meta reportedly splits up augmented and virtual reality headsets team

Virtual reality headsets - Split between VR and AR

The team of 300 people was working on a hybrid operating system but won’t be continuing for now.

A team of 300 people that had been working on Meta’s hybrid operating system for augmented and virtual reality headsets, has been reportedly split up by the company.

Some of the engineers from the team will be heading to Quest gadgets and AR glasses projects.

Some of those that had been working on the operating system for the augmented and virtual reality headsets will be heading to work on AR glasses or Quest gear, according to a report in The Verge. This report follows others such as one in The Information. This report in the media follows closely on the heels of Meta’s denial that it had ground its work on the hybrid operating system to a halt.

Reports were made in January stating that Meta had stopped its “XROS” project that the team had been working on the combine AR and VR (which is what XR stands for). Following those reports, Gabriel Aul, vice president at Reality Labs, tweeted that the firm was “growing this team, not shrinking it,” and provided a link to the careers page at Meta. He added that the company was “still working on a highly specialized OS for our devices.”

Now instead of working on an XR OS, it will split the team to separate augmented and virtual reality headsets.

According to Sheeva Slovan, Meta spokesperson quoted by another report from The Verge, Meta is still aiming to “speed up the development of solutions that are hyper-tuned for each product line,” by way of “embedding more OS engineers directly into [its] AR and VR teams.”

As of the writing of this article, Meta has not officially confirmed the reports of the broken up augmented and virtual reality headsets operating system team. This suggests that the tech giant’s priority is on each team’s operating system customizations for its own projects. This is instead of having a new XR software platform by way of a centralized team.

Virtual reality headsets - Person wearing AR glasses

Some of the engineers from the XROS team have been assigned to Quest VR gadgets while others are working on AR glasses. Other XR technology focused on hand-tracking and eye-tracking through computer vision, said the report. It is yet to be evident where every one of the XROS team members would be heading.

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