Meta’s Head of Augmented Reality Software Steps Down, Raising Concerns About AR Glasses Development

The departure of Meta’s VP of Engineering, Don Box, raises questions about the progress of the company’s custom operating system for its planned AR glasses.

Meta, formerly known as Facebook, has announced that its head of augmented reality software, Don Box, will be stepping down from his role. This development has sparked concerns about the company’s progress in developing a custom operating system for its highly anticipated AR glasses. With Meta aiming to deliver a first generation of its AR glasses by next year, the departure of a veteran engineer like Box could potentially hinder the development of this crucial component.

1. Challenges in Developing the Operating System:

Box’s departure from Meta has raised concerns about the development of the operating system for the company’s AR glasses. As the VP of Engineering, Box played a key role in leading the team responsible for building the operating system. His experience in developing major technology systems from their infancy made him an invaluable asset to the project. The loss of such expertise could potentially be a setback in Meta’s efforts to create a seamless and user-friendly operating system for its AR glasses.

2. Meta’s AR Glasses Timeline:

Meta’s plan is to release a first generation of its AR glasses internally and exclusively to a select group of developers next year. These glasses are expected to be a stepping stone towards the company’s ultimate goal of providing AR glasses to consumers by 2027. While the departure of Box may impact the development timeline, a Meta spokesperson stated that there would be no change in the product roadmap as a result of his decision. However, the spokesperson did not address whether the operating system Box’s team was working on would be included in the first generation of AR glasses.

3. Mark Zuckerberg’s Vision for AR Glasses:

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has described AR glasses as a pivotal part of his vision for a virtual “metaverse” that can replace traditional laptops and mobile devices. He sees AR glasses as the future of computing, providing users with an immersive and interactive experience. The development of a robust and efficient operating system is crucial for the success of this vision. While Box’s departure may pose challenges, Meta remains committed to realizing Zuckerberg’s ambitious goals.

4. Challenges in Building AR Products:

According to Meta’s CTO Andrew Bosworth, the company still faces “quite a few challenges” in building an AR product that can be brought to market. Bosworth acknowledges that the development of AR glasses is still a few years away. This admission highlights the complexities involved in creating a consumer-ready AR device. Meta’s recent struggles in building custom silicon for its AR/VR products and the layoffs in its Reality Labs custom silicon unit further underscore the challenges the company is facing.

5. Don Box’s Background and Role at Meta:

Before joining Meta in 2021, Don Box had an extensive career at Microsoft, where he played a pivotal role in developing the Xbox One operating system and leading Microsoft’s core operating system group. At Meta, Box was tasked with charting a path forward after the failure of the XROS project, which aimed to create a unified custom operating system for various devices. Box’s expertise and leadership were crucial in breaking down the XROS unit into dedicated teams for each device line and personally overseeing the team focused on AR software.


The departure of Meta’s VP of Engineering, Don Box, raises concerns about the progress of the company’s custom operating system for its AR glasses. As Meta aims to deliver its first generation of AR glasses next year, the loss of Box’s expertise could potentially impact the development timeline. However, Meta remains committed to its vision of creating a virtual “metaverse” and replacing traditional computing devices with AR glasses. The challenges faced in building AR products highlight the complexities involved in bringing this technology to market. Meta will need to navigate these challenges and find new leadership to ensure the successful development of its AR glasses and operating system.






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