Meta’s Head of Augmented Reality Software Departs, Raising Questions about AR Glasses Development

Don Box’s departure from Meta raises concerns about the progress of the company’s custom operating system for its planned AR glasses.

Meta’s head of augmented reality (AR) software, Don Box, is stepping down from his role, leading to speculation about the development of a custom operating system for Meta’s forthcoming AR glasses. Box’s departure may pose challenges for the progress of the operating system, a critical component of Meta’s AR glasses project. While Meta aims to release an internal version of its AR glasses next year, followed by a consumer launch in 2027, the departure of a seasoned engineer like Box could potentially impact the development timeline.

Setback for Operating System Development

Box’s departure from Meta is seen as a setback for the development of the custom operating system for the company’s AR glasses. As a veteran engineer with experience in building major technology systems, Box played a crucial role in spearheading the operating system project. His absence may delay progress and raise questions about the company’s ability to deliver on its AR glasses roadmap.

Meta’s AR Glasses Timeline

Meta has been planning to release a first-generation version of its AR glasses internally next year, limited to a select group of developers. The company aims to launch its AR glasses for consumers in 2027. However, it remains unclear whether the operating system being developed by Box’s team will be included in the first generation of the AR glasses. Meta’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, has emphasized the significance of AR glasses in realizing his vision of an immersive virtual “metaverse” and replacing traditional computing devices.

Challenges in Building AR Products

Meta’s CTO, Andrew Bosworth, recently acknowledged that the company still faces significant challenges in developing an AR product that can be brought to market. Bosworth stated that the timeline for commercializing AR glasses is still a few years away. This admission reflects the complexity of creating hardware that can seamlessly integrate with the metaverse, and it highlights the arduous journey Meta faces in delivering a fully functional AR glasses product.

Struggles with Custom Silicon

In addition to the challenges in operating system development, Meta has faced difficulties in building custom silicon for its AR/VR products. Last month, the company laid off employees in its Reality Labs custom silicon unit, known as FAST. The struggles with custom silicon development further compound the obstacles Meta must overcome to deliver a successful AR glasses product.

Box’s Role and Expertise

Box joined Meta in 2021 after the failure of the XROS project, which aimed to create a unified custom operating system for Meta’s various devices, including virtual reality headsets, Ray-Ban Stories smart glasses, and upcoming augmented reality glasses. Box restructured the XROS unit into dedicated teams for each device line and personally led the team focused on AR software. Prior to joining Meta, Box had an extensive career at Microsoft, where he played a pivotal role in developing the Xbox One operating system and overseeing the core operating system group.


The departure of Don Box, Meta’s head of augmented reality software, has raised concerns about the progress of the company’s custom operating system for its AR glasses. As Meta strives to develop a first-generation version of its AR glasses for internal use next year and a consumer launch in 2027, the absence of a seasoned engineer like Box may pose challenges to the development timeline. Meta continues to face obstacles in building an AR product that can be successfully brought to market, including struggles with custom silicon. The departure of Box highlights the complexities and uncertainties inherent in developing cutting-edge AR technology.






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