Last year Meta announced the so-called Augments feature, planned for Quest 3, which would allow persistent mini AR apps to live in the world around you. Now, eight months after the headset hit store shelves, Meta’s CTO explains why the feature has yet to ship.

Augments was announced as a framework for developers to build mini AR apps that could not just live persistently in the space around you, but also run concurrently alongside each other—similar to how most apps work on Vision Pro today.

Image courtesy Meta

And though Meta had shown a glimpse of Augments in action when it was announced last year, it seems the company’s vision (and desire to market that vision) got ahead of its execution.

This week Meta CTO Andrew “Boz” Bosworth responded to a question during an Instagram Q&A about when the Augments feature would ship. He indicated the feature as initially shown wasn’t meeting the company’s expectation.

We were playing with [Augments] in January and we decided it wasn’t good enough. It was too held back by some system architecture limitations we had; it ended up feeling more like a toy and it didn’t really have the power that we think it needed to deliver on the promise of what it was.

So we made a tough decision there to go back to the drawing board, and basically [it needed] a completely different technical architecture. Starting from scratch basically. Including actually a much deeper set of changes to the system to enable what we wanted to build there. I think we made the right call—we’re not going to ship something we’re not excited about.

But it did restart the clock, and so [Augments is] going to take longer than we had hoped to deliver. I think it’s worth while, I think it’s the right call. But that’s what happened.

We’re only two-and-a-half months out from Meta Connect 2024, which would be the one-year anniversary of the Augments announcement. That’s where we likely to hear more about the feature, but at this point it’s unclear if it could ship by then.

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Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."
  • "Back to the drawingboard …."
    "COMPLETELY DIFFERENT architecture …."
    "Starting from scratch …."
    "Restart the clock …."
    GOD I hate Boz ….

  • eadVrim

    Mixed reality devices still need the killer app, The photogrammertry with real time teleportation chat. Invite someone to your house in VR and see him in AR.

    • Stephen Bard

      We used to have incredibly complex Oculus Custom PC Homes, but the Meta morons killed it.

      • ViRGiN

        Incredibly complex? It was incredibly complex to customize, supporting only the most obscure format GLTF with zero documentation on how to pull of anything. That was never impressed, and noone has ever built anything really cool, it was all clutter of random 3D objects.

  • Stephen Bard

    Instead of endlessly holding your breath for "Augments", just use the excellent Figmin XR app to position an endless variety of Sketchfab static/animated objects, YouTube windows and realtime Tilt Brush animated art in your real space or VR rooms.

  • Augments can be a revolution for Quest, because widgets in AR will be very popular in the long run, as soon as people wear glasses long enough. But if it is just a gimmick, then it's not worthwhile. I think there is also a problem of performance… can the mobile chipset of the Quest run all these widgets together?

    • Stephen Bard

      Try Figmin XR.