Meta Halts Development of In-House AR and VR Operating System as Launch of Apple Headset Approaches

Meta has stopped growing its scratch-built working system for augmented-reality (AR) and virtual-reality (VR) gadgets, in response to The Information.

Facebook Meta
In a paywalled report printed earlier at this time, The Information claims that Meta stopped the event of its working system designed for Oculus virtual-reality gadgets and the corporate’s upcoming augmented-reality glasses in November 2021, citing individuals acquainted with the matter. Work on the working system had reportedly been underway since 2017 and concerned greater than 300 Meta workers.

Existing Oculus gadgets, such as the Quest 2, run a modified model of Android referred to as VROS, however Meta was designing a brand new OS from scratch to assist its ambitions within the AR and VR area, a venture recognized internally as “XROS.” It is unclear why the venture was deserted, however the firm might nonetheless revive facets of the OS at a later date.

Going ahead, Meta will give attention to modifying an open-source model of Android for AR and VR use, quite than utilizing its personal in-house OS. The transfer is anticipated to save lots of the corporate cash and engineering assets, however ties Meta’s AR and VR aspirations intently to Google in the long run.

The determination seems to be a substantial setback for Meta’s long-term aim to be extra unbiased and develop its personal {hardware}. In explicit, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been involved for over a decade concerning the degree of management that Apple and Google have over gadgets which might be key to Meta’s enterprise mannequin, resulting in occasions such as Facebook’s public relations battle with Apple over App Tracking Transparency.

Meanwhile, Apple is believed to be persevering with work on “rOS,” the working system designed to run on the corporate’s long-rumored mixed-reality headset and augmented-reality glasses. Apple is anticipated to turn into a serious participant within the “metaverse” with the launch of a mixed-reality headset as soon as this year, rivaling Meta.

rOS has reportedly been in growth since at the very least 2017. According to Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman, rOS is predicated on iOS, and contains Siri and gesture controls. It options primary purposes and an App Store, as nicely as applied sciences for accomodating digital assembly rooms and 360-degree video.

Apple already has a robust foothold in AR applied sciences with ARKit, which offers builders with instruments to create augmented actuality apps for iPhones and iPads, and the corporate continuously provides new AR-based options to its gadgets such as AR walking directions within the Maps app and the LiDAR scanner on the iPad Pro.

Multiple respected sources imagine that Apple’s headset will probably be introduced before the end of this year, with the venture now mentioned to be “approaching liftoff.”