Meta, formerly known as Facebook, has ended its current efforts to develop an operating system for AR and VR devices, The Information reported today.
Citing “two people familiar with the decision,” the article claims that meta to the status quo of running Oculus devices – and perhaps future mixed reality devices – on a modified version of Google’s Android operating system for Cell phones will return.
The project, internally dubbed XROS, had reportedly been going on for years and “involved hundreds of employees”. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg only spoke a few months ago about his potential. The reasons for Meta’s decision to pull the plug are currently not publicly known.
From the outside, the decision appears to be a major setback in a brewing war over mixed reality between Meta, Apple and possibly other technology giants. The upcoming VR or AR headsets from Apple will no doubt run a bespoke operating system designed to tightly integrate with the hardware for strong performance and a stable experience.
Without rock-solid software of its own, it could be difficult for Facebook to compete with. However, in the end, Facebook and Apple can target very different use cases for AR and VR; their ultimate strategies remain a mystery to most.
Facebook was renamed “Meta” as part of a general hub for the company to develop immersive experiences – the name is a (somewhat absurd) allusion to the metaverse of science fiction. The change indicated that Meta sees the future of the company in Mixed Reality, or XR (a collective term for AR and VR technologies).
It is therefore surprising that Meta has allegedly decided to stop working on XROS, but it is also possible that the project will be reborn in a different form in the future.
Analysts and reporters have released reports that say Apple’s first mixed reality headset may hit the market later this year, although it is unlikely to be a consumer device for the mass market. Meta is thanks to the acquisition of Oculus and the significant success of. already on the market the Oculus Quest. But this obvious setback suggests that Apple may be ahead in some aspects of technology.
That is, there was also Reports that Apple has been bleeding talent from its AR department to other companies – including Meta – for reasons that are not yet apparent.
If there is a clear insight from these developments, it could be that the much-predicted mixed reality revolution is still in its infancy.