Meta’s Head of Augmented Reality Resigns for “Personal Reasons”

Meta's Head of Augmented Reality Resigns for "Personal Reasons"

According to a report by Reuters, Don Box, Vice President of Engineering at Meta and Head of its Augmented Reality Software, has reportedly announced his resignation from the company internally. Because of this, questions have been raised about the augmented reality glasses that Meta intends to create and their bespoke operating system.

The now-former Vice President of Meta announced that he would be resigning “without elaborating on what he would do next,” as stated in the story.

According to Reuters, a spokeswoman for Meta disclosed that Box will be leaving the firm at the end of this week due to personal issues. The representative continued by stating that the decision made by Box would not have an impact on the product strategy.

The spokesman for Meta declined to comment either on the roadmap or on whether or not the operating system that is being created by Box’s team will be included in the initial generation of AR glasses.

According to BNN, the first generation of these augmented reality glasses will be ready sometime in 2019, and they will be used internally as well as by selected developers. By 2027, Meta anticipates releasing a version intended for general consumers.

Meta’s Augmented Reality Glasses

Meta's Augmented Reality Glasses

CTO Andrew Bosworth, leader of the company’s Reality Labs division, which focuses on the metaverse, recently indicated that Meta was still encountering “quite a few challenges” in building an augmented reality device that could be brought to market and that “those things are still a few years away – a few, to put it lightly.” Bosworth was speaking in reference to the fact that Meta was still developing an AR device that could be brought to market.

In addition, the company has had trouble producing custom silicon for its AR/VR devices, and at the beginning of this month, it terminated the employment of numerous workers working at its Reality Labs custom silicon business FAST.

The recent layoffs were also reported by a separate Reuters report, which could put in jeopardy the project that Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg has been working on to develop augmented and virtual reality products that allow access to a set of immersive virtual worlds known as the “metaverse,” particularly the AR glasses that he has predicted “will redefine our relationship with technology.”

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta, has referred to augmented reality glasses as a “magnum opus” in light of his efforts to develop technology that will, among other things, facilitate access to an immersive virtual “metaverse” and replace PCs and mobile devices.

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Don Box, Meta’s Former AR Head

According to the source, Meta first approached Box in 2021 in order to plot a way ahead following the failure of its XROS project. This project had been an attempt to produce a single proprietary operating system for Meta’s virtual reality headsets, Ray-Ban Stories smart glasses, and planned augmented reality glasses. Meta lost the project.

In September, Meta introduced a new generation of Ray-Ban Meta Smart glasses, which had enhanced audio and camera capabilities, as well as a quicker processor, an integrated AI assistant, and an overall more durable design.

According to the information provided by the source as well as the information provided on Box’s LinkedIn page, Box began the previous year by dividing the 300-person XROS unit into specialized teams for each device line and taking personal charge of the team concentrating on AR software.

Prior to joining Meta, Box had been working for Microsoft since the year 2002. When he left Microsoft, he handled mixed reality engineering, which included the development of software for the HoloLens2 headgear and other AR/VR services. This was his final post at the company.

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