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Meta reportedly disbanded 300-person team building a hybrid VR/AR OS

Meta reportedly disbanded 300-person team building a hybrid VR/AR OS

According to a report in The Information, Meta has reportedly disbanded the nearly 300-person team working on the OS for AR and VR headsets, leaving some engineers working on AR glasses and Oculus (er, Quest) headsets. are doing. Teams have been transferred. , it comes after recent reports — which Meta denied at the time — that the company had halted work on the team's project to build a unified custom operating system for its VR and AR headsets.

In January, reports surfaced that Meta had canceled the "XROS" project the team was working on (XR is a term used for both augmented and virtual reality). After the report surfaced, Reality Labs vice president Gabriel Aul tweeted that the company is "growing this team, not shrinking it," and included a link to a meta careers page. Aul also said that the company is "still working on a highly specialized OS for our devices."

Meta is expected to accelerate development of Hyper-Tune solutions for each product line "by embedding more OS engineers directly into [its] AR and VR teams," according to a statement emailed Friday by Meta to The Verge. been doing. Spokesperson Sheva Slovan. Without confirming the breakup, it suggests that Meta's current approach prioritizes each team's OS optimization for its own projects, rather than a centralized team and new software platform.

According to The Information, some of the engineers on the XROS team have been assigned to teams working on AR glasses, Quest VR headsets and other XR technology, including hand and eye tracking via computer vision. It is unclear where each employee of the XROS team will arrive, the report said.

This distinctive restructuring comes as Meta works on transforming its image as a whole – obvious examples are its recent name change to focus on "Metaverse" and plans for a virtual world that includes VR and AR products. . are included. The company recently updated its values, telling employees they should "move together faster" and "focus on long-term impact."

Currently, headsets like the Oculus Quest 2 use an operating system based on Android. At the moment it's unclear what future headsets like the upcoming "Project Cambria" will use — but with the XROS team doing it, it doesn't look like we'll be unveiling a new OS with Meta NextVR. Headset manufacture.

Statement from META spokesperson Sheeva Sloven:

We are always evolving our team structure to help us bring the best products to market. By embedding more OS engineers directly into our AR and VR teams, we can accelerate the development of Hyper-Tune solutions for each product line. As we've said before, we're following a number of technical specifications to build these and we're committed to building highly specialized systems. We continue to invest and optimize going forward so that we can work against the aggressive goals we have set.

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