Sylvia Varnham O’Regan, reporting for The Information:
Facebook parent company Meta Platforms has stopped development of
a new software operating system to power its virtual reality
devices and upcoming augmented reality glasses, according to two
people familiar with the decision. […]
Meta uses an open-source version of Google’s Android operating
system to power Meta’s existing Oculus Quest VR devices. But Meta
wanted to create an OS from scratch to power them and future
devices, a project that became known internally as XROS. XR is a
catch-all term for VR, AR, and mixed reality. In MR, the wearer of
a headset could view and use real-world objects, such as a
keyboard, to do work or play games in a VR-like app.
Instead, the company has told some staff it would continue to
modify an open-source version of Android, which Google developed
for smartphones but which other companies have used to power
various devices, the people familiar with the matter said. Meta’s
modified version of Android, known internally as VROS, powers
existing Oculus VR headsets.
Hard to say what this means. Operating systems are hard — there are only a handful of successful ones in the world.
I wonder if this is sort of like the early days of Apple’s iPhone efforts, when
Update: Also interesting is that Mark Lucovsky, the leader of Facebook’s XROS team, left the company in November, apparently because he only just then realized that Facebook is a spectacularly shitty company:
Contacted by The Information, Lucovsky said in a text message: “I
made my decision to leave Facebook after the 60 Minutes interview
[with Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen] on 10/4, subsequent
readings of the material supplied to the SEC, and the company’s
new metaverse-centric focus.”
Facebook cancelled the XROS project shortly after Lucovsky quit.