Exclusive: Meta’s head of augmented reality software stepping down

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    The Meta logo is seen on the beach during the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity on June 19, 2023 in Cannes, France.Reuters/Eric Gaillard/File photo Obtaining license rights

    NEW YORK, Nov 16 (Reuters) – The head of augmented reality software at Meta Inc. (META.O) is stepping down from his role, a company spokesperson told Reuters on Friday, adding that the head of augmented reality software at Meta Inc (META.O) is stepping down from its planned custom operating system. questioned the company’s progress in development. AR glasses.

    Don Box, vice president of engineering, announced internally this week that he was ending his time at Meta, but did not elaborate on what he would do next, according to sources familiar with the matter.

    A Meta spokesperson confirmed that Box would be leaving the company this weekend, saying it was for personal reasons. His decision will not change the product roadmap, he added.

    Box did not respond to requests for comment.

    The departure of Box, a veteran engineer with experience building major technology systems from the beginning, could be a setback for the advancement of Meta’s operating system, a key component of its AR glasses project, the company said. officials told Reuters.

    Meta plans to offer the first generation of AR glasses by next year, but they are intended to be used only internally and by a select group of developers, the people said. The company aims to ship the first AR glasses to consumers in 2027.

    A Meta spokesperson declined to discuss the roadmap or whether the OS being developed by the Box team will be included in the first generation of AR glasses.

    Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who is working to build hardware that provides access to an immersive virtual “metaverse” and replaces laptops and mobile devices, calls the AR glasses a kind of masterpiece. .

    CTO Andrew Bosworth, head of the company’s Metaverse-oriented Reality Labs division, recently said that Meta still faces “quite a few challenges” in developing an AR product that it can bring to market. We still have several years left to address these issues.” To put it lightly, it’s a little far away. ”

    The company has also struggled to build custom silicon for AR/VR products, and last month laid off some employees at Reality Labs’ custom silicon division, FAST.

    Meta was originally designed to chart a path forward after the failure of the XROS project, which aimed to create a unified custom operating system for VR headsets, Ray-Ban Stories smart glasses, and planned augmented reality glasses. , hired Box in 2021, the people said.

    box Broke up According to both the source and Box’s LinkedIn profile, he organized the 300-person XROS division into dedicated teams for each device line early last year, and personally took over the team focused on AR software.

    Prior to joining Meta, Box worked at Microsoft since 2002. In his last role at Microsoft, he was responsible for mixed reality engineering, including developing software for the HoloLens2 headset and related his AR/VR services.

    Box is known for leading the creation of the Xbox One operating system and later leading Microsoft’s core operating systems group that powers all Windows products.

    Reporting by Katie Paul and Kenneth Li.Editing: Daniel Wallis

    Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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