Reality Labs, Meta’s XR division formed in 2020, is now being reorganized into two distinct groups, ‘Wearables’ and ‘Metaverse’, which reportedly comes along a “relatively small” number of layoffs.

As reported by The Verge’s Alex Heath, Meta CTO and head of Reality Labs Andrew ‘Boz’ Bosworth announced the reorg in an internal memo to employees, stating that all teams in Reality Labs are being merged into either a central ‘Metaverse’ organization, responsible for Quest, and a new ‘Wearables’ organization to dedicated to other hardware, including its Ray-Ban Meta smartglasses.

In the memo, which is available via Heath’s Command Line newsletter, Bosworth says the company’s smartglasses were “a much bigger success than we expected,” spurring the XR division to put more focus on the product.

Image courtesy Meta, Ray-Ban

“We have the leading AI device on the market right now, and we are doubling down on finding a strong product market fit for wearable Meta AI, building a business around it, and expanding the audience,” Bosworth’s memo reads. “Our north star to overlay digital content seamlessly onto the physical world remains the same, but the steps on that path just got a lot more exciting.”

Notably, Ray-Ban Meta smartglasses don’t include displays of any type, AR or otherwise, instead offering input through voice assistant and touch on the glasses’ struts for things like taking pictures, videos, and listening to music. In late 2023, Meta also added AI-powered object recognition.

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As for its Quest-related efforts, Bosworth says the company is still “deeply committed to investing in Horizon as the core foundation of our social, spatial Horizon OS, and high-quality experiences for both mixed reality and mobile.”

Meta announced in April it will soon license its Horizon OS (ex-Quest OS) to third parties for the first time, including ASUS, Lenovo and Xbox. This comes part and parcel with it Horizon Store (ex-Quest Store) content library—seen as a bid to become a more prolific alternative to Apple’s Vision Pro.

“The org chart doesn’t primarily determine whether we succeed or fail, our execution does,” Bosworth said in the memo. “But by setting it up this way I hope we reduce overhead and allow people across teams to come together and execute with a more unified view of who our customers are and how we can best serve them.”

Meta declined to comment on the exact number of Reality Labs layoffs, however Heath maintains “it’s a relatively small number and focused on teams in Reality Labs where leadership roles are now redundant thanks to this new structure.”

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Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 4,000 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • Who knows WHAT tf they're doing over there.
    THEY certainly don't ….
    But then, that's Meta's M.O. all over:
    hardware good, software bad.
    Very VERY bad ….
    []^ |

  • ApocalypseShadow

    Their Northstar: Augmented Reality as I always thought they were pointing.

    The true point of all this push in the VR space is actually to compete against Apple in the AR space. To create the next paradigm of technology. Apple's Northstar is to complement or replace their cellphone, their iPad, their PC. Facebook wants to beat them with wearables before Apple gets a foothold in the market at all cost. And so far, 50+ billion in cost.

    VR is just a stepping stone for them. Just as Microsoft uses games to get to their Northstar of a digital future of control and lack of ownership for a fee where they own the biggest franchises, Facebook wants wearables that will collect giga quads of data from everyday use to sell that information.

    Carmack, as a developer and gamer, wanted Facebook to become the next Nintendo of VR. Facebook really doesn't want that. They want what Apple and Google have. Software and technology to gather data. Then bank on advertising. Everything else is just a side project. Quest 3 is a cool device. But it isn't their Northstar. It's a data gatherer to make their future glasses better when the tech shrinks that can do both AR and VR.

    It's going to be quite interesting to see who wins the overall game of getting the mass market consumers to buy in to these wearables.

    • Ondrej

      Carmack, as a developer and gamer, wanted Facebook to become the next Nintendo of VR.

      Incorrect.

      He was all about pushing the user base number to the maximum with possibly the most casual use cases with possibly the cheapest, minimum viable product. This is why he was betting on GearVR and Oculus Go and NOT on Quest and NIT on tracked hand controllers (he later admitted to being wrong and laughed how ironic it was that he got addicted to beat saber).

      He was primarily pushing for 360 and 180 videos and photos, because he thought it would be the most likely casual killer feature to make it mainstream.

      People do this kind of mistakes about Carmack all the time, because everyone put him into the "iD Software Doomguy" box and assumed he must be that core PC guy forever.

      The most common misunderstanding was assumption that he must be pro PCVR and high end VR instead of mobile VR and the exact opposite was true. Mobile VR, the primitive 3DOF smartphone based kind VR was the ONLY reason he joined Oculus. He also loved Google Cardboard.