Meta restructures Reality Labs division after unprecedented success of smart glasses

Meta restructures Reality Labs division after unprecedented success of smart glasses
Reality Labs, the Meta division that also handles its Quest lineup of VR headsets, is being restructured. Meta CTO Andrew Bosworth confirmed that the division was being merged into two parts: ‘Metaverse’ and ‘Wearables’. As a result of this restructuring some employees have also been laid off, though the exact number is unconfirmed.

In the memo circulated amongst employees at Meta, Bosworth called the Meta-powered Ray-Ban smart glasses “a much bigger hit than we anticipated”. As such, the ‘Wearables’ division will now focus on smart glasses and other similar efforts. For example, Meta’s AI-powered AR smart glasses codenamed Project Nazare.

The ‘Metaverse’ division will remain the central organization inside Reality Labs and focus on the Meta Quest headsets. Bosworth also said AI would play a vital role in Meta’s products going forward.

— Andrew Bosworth (CTO at Meta), The Verge (subscription required), June 2024

The ‘Metaverse’ division will be run by Vishal Shah and the ‘Wearables’ division will fall under Alex Himel. Bosworth also confirmed that the company would continue focusing on Horizon, which is Meta’s social network. The recent rebranding of the Quest Store to Horizon Store and Quest OS to Horizon OS indicates Meta is all in on Horizon.

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Meta Quest 3 is the company’s current flagship headset.

As a result of the restructuring of Reality Labs, some managerial positions have been made redundant and dissolved. Bosworth didn’t provide an estimate but says it was a small number of people who got laid off.

Meta has been making big moves recently to capitalize on the budding XR (Extended Reality) industry. Zuckerberg is of the same opinion as I am: Mixed Reality is the future of computing. And Meta plans to be a big part of this future, as evidenced by the company making Quest OS open-source.

Which will likely mean future XR devices opting to run on Meta’s platform similar to how so many phones today run on Android.
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