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

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

Meta, formerly known as Facebook, is facing a setback in the development of its augmented reality (AR) glasses as the head of its augmented reality software, Don Box, steps down from his role. This departure has raised questions about the company’s ability to deliver on its ambitious plans for AR glasses and develop a custom operating system to support them. With Meta aiming to ship its first AR glasses to consumers in 2027, the departure of a key engineer like Box could pose challenges for the company’s timeline.

A setback for the operating system development

Don Box, the VP of Engineering at Meta, announced his departure internally this week, leaving behind his role in developing the custom operating system for Meta’s AR glasses. As a veteran engineer with experience in building major technology systems, Box’s departure could potentially hinder the progress of the operating system, which is a crucial component of Meta’s AR glasses project. The company had planned to release a first-generation version of the AR glasses next year for internal use and a select group of developers, with consumer availability expected in 2027. However, it remains unclear whether Box’s departure will impact the development of the operating system for the initial release.

Meta’s vision for AR glasses and the metaverse

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has described AR glasses as a significant part of his vision for an immersive virtual “metaverse.” These glasses are intended to replace laptops and mobile devices, providing users with access to a new world of augmented reality experiences. With this ambitious goal in mind, the development of a custom operating system becomes crucial to Meta’s success in creating a seamless and immersive AR environment. However, the departure of Box and the challenges faced by Meta in building an AR product indicate that the realization of this vision may still be a few years away.

Challenges in building an AR product

According to Meta’s CTO Andrew Bosworth, the company is still encountering “quite a few challenges” in the development of an AR product that can be brought to market. Building custom silicon for AR/VR products has proven to be a struggle, leading to layoffs in Meta’s Reality Labs custom silicon unit last month. These challenges, combined with the departure of Box, suggest that Meta is facing significant obstacles in its pursuit of AR glasses and the metaverse.

Don Box’s role and experience

Prior to joining Meta, Don Box had a long and successful career at Microsoft, where he played a key role in the development of major technology systems. He led the creation of the Xbox One operating system and later headed Microsoft’s core operating system group, which worked across all Windows products. 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, including virtual reality headsets, smart glasses, and augmented reality glasses. Despite the challenges faced by Meta, Box’s leadership and expertise have been instrumental in guiding the company’s AR software development.


The departure of Don Box, Meta’s VP of Engineering, raises concerns about the progress of the company’s custom operating system for its AR glasses. As Meta aims to deliver its first-generation AR glasses by next year, the loss of a key engineer like Box could potentially impact the development timeline. Challenges in building an AR product and custom silicon for AR/VR devices further compound the obstacles faced by Meta. However, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s vision for AR glasses and the metaverse remains steadfast, and the company will need to regroup and find new leadership to continue pushing forward in the development of its AR glasses and the immersive virtual world they aim to create.






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