We reported recently that according to industry insiders in Taiwanese manufacturing, Meta was working on a new VR headset running Android and powered by a Qualcomm process.
That news may have been a harbinger of the latest report, that Meta has dropped its own efforts to develop an operating system for VR headsets called XROS and has disbanded the 300-strong team working on it.
The rumours that Meta was deciding to refine their Android-based VROS instead of pursuing XROS first appeared in January, but was then denied by Meta, with the company saying it was “not halting or scaling back” its reality OS development.
On this occasion Meta did not completely confirm the news, but did indicate that team members would be dispersing though the company to “embed” with other VR teams, saying:
“We are always evolving our team structures to help us bring great products to market quickly. By embedding more OS engineers directly into our AR and VR teams, we can speed up the development of solutions that are hyper-tuned for each product line. As we’ve said before, there are several technical directions we’re pursuing to build these and we remain committed to building highly specialized systems. We continue to invest and optimize to move fast so we can deliver against the aggressive goals we’ve set.”
The change of direction should speed up the arival of Meta’s next generation headset, but does tie them into Google’s pace of development, which may become an issue at some point.