Meta has scrapped a software OS that the company has been working on for years, which would have powered Oculus VR and AR headsets, The Information reports.
Speaking with two people familiar with the situation, The Information reports that development on a new VR/AR OS had been in the works for several years and involved hundreds of employees.
Meta currently uses a modified version of Google’s Android OS to operate its Oculus line of VR headsets. Meta reportedly wanted to create its own OS, internally dubbed “XROS,” in order to avoid the technological and logistical hurdles that come with using a third-party OS. That would include having to update your own modified OS any time Google updated Android to address security issues or make other changes. Changes to a modified Android OS could also cause technical issues to come to light, since the OS was originally designed for smartphones but adopted for other hardware, like VR headsets.
It’s unclear why Meta changed its approach to a VR/AR OS after seemingly so much time and investment. Meta reportedly still intends to develop its own OS, and could revive XROS or parts of it in the future.
Meta informed employees of the decision to halt development in November. This came shortly after project leader Mark Lucovsky, a former Microsoft engineer, announced he was leaving Meta. Lucovsky later joined Google in December to work on their OS for augmented reality.
Lucovsky told The Information that he decided to leave Meta following the 60 Minutes interview with Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen in early October, “subsequent readings of the material supplied to the SEC, and the company’s new metaverse-centric focus.”
Image credit: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Joseph Knoop is a writer/producer/meh-taverse for IGN.
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