Meta will, reportedly, continue to utilize a modified version of Android.
About Pulling the Plug on OS for AR/VR Devices
The Information reported that Meta has canceled its project that works on a custom OS to power its upcoming virtual and augmented reality headsets. Even though the company pulls the plug, its future plans are not yet clear. It also denied scaling back its OS efforts.
By suspending the development of the said project, Meta will be using the Android-based OS used in Quest VR devices. This is more convenient. However, it makes the company more dependent on Android.
The report stated that the project started in 2017. Meta hired over 300 people to work on it. The OS is similar to what Mark Zuckerberg and Andrew Bosworth disused before.
Last year, Mark described it as an OS that can give the company control over each layer of its hardware. According to Mark,
“The team is pretty far along in this, at this point. We’re building a microkernel-based operating system, which is the architecture that you want to segment the pieces to make it as secure as possible. That way you have a small [set] of pieces that you know are going to be fundamentally trustworthy that you can build on top of.”
Will It Affect Production of AR Glasses?
There’s no indication that it will affect the company’s plan to produce new augmented reality glasses. It means that the company will continue to produce Project Aria and Nazare. However, it can mean that the company will be dependent on Android.
The cancellation of the project was reported after Mark Lukovdky, a team leader, announced that he was leaving Meta to work on Google for a similar AR OS project. Mark said that he resigned after a former Facebook employee accused the company of harmful business practices. He also departed from Meta because of the social media’s focus on metaverse.
Mark Zuckerberg is focusing on AR and VR as a way for his company to evade the dominance of Apple and Google in mobile phones. His company is still interested in developing its own OS.
Meta Denying the Report
That’s why it has rebutted the report. It stated that it’s not stopping its operation in developing a reality operating system. The company will continue to invest in building computing platforms to realize its metaverse vision.
In Fact, Meta VP posted a tweet to address the report. “There are several technical directions we’re pursuing in our efforts to build @RealityLabs operating systems, we’re still working on a highly specialized OS for our devices – we remain very much invested in this work and continue to dedicate the resources necessary to build this.” He added that the team is growing, instead of shrinking. He’s inviting people to join them.
Meanwhile, the iPhone maker is said to continue working on rOS, which is the operating system designed to power the company’s mixed-reality headset glasses. With the launch of the said headset and AR glasses soon, Apple is said to be a major player in the metaverse.