Meta’s head of augmented reality software stepping down

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    CNA – Meta’s head of augmented reality (AR) software is stepping down from his position, a company spokesperson told media on Friday, citing the company’s progress in developing a custom operating system for its planned AR glasses. A question arose.

    Don Box, vice president of engineering, announced internally this week that his tenure at Meta is ending, without elaborating on what he will do next, according to people 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. the official said.

    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.

    The Metalogo can be seen in Cannes, France. Photo: CNA

    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 calls the AR glasses a kind of masterpiece as the company works to build hardware that provides an immersive virtual “metaverse” and replaces laptops and mobile devices.

    Chief Technology Officer Andrew Bosworth, head of the company’s Metaverse-oriented Reality Labs division, recently said that Meta still faces “a significant number of challenges” in developing an AR product that it can bring to market. “Those challenges are still several years away,” he said. Simply put, 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 split its 300-person XROS division into dedicated teams for each device line early last year, and personally took over the team focused on AR software, according to both sources and Box’s LinkedIn profile.

    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.


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