from the choice-is-good,-right? dept.
Despite the recent privacy scandals, mishandling of user data, and a potential federal injunction looming in the distance, Facebook seems to be going full steam ahead with its ambitions. According to a recent report by The Information, the company is now developing its own operating system to reduce dependency on Google’s Android. The development, as per The Verge, is being led by Mark Lucovsky — an ex-Microsoft official who co-authored the Windows NT operating system.
While the report provides a limited amount of information about how Facebook plans to use the new operating system, it does point out that currently Facebook’s Oculus and Portal devices run on a modified version of Android. This leads us to believe that with its new operating system the company plans to replace Android on its VR and smart devices. And one of Facebook’s AR and VR heads, Ficus Kirkpatrick, mirrors this sentiment. According to Kirkpatrick, “it’s possible” that Facebook’s future hardware won’t need to rely on Google’s software which could possibly remove Google’s control over the company’s hardware.
Andrew Bosworth, Facebook’s head of hardware, also told The Information that the company “want(s) to make sure the next generation has space for us. We don’t think we can trust the marketplace or competitors to ensure that’s the case. And so we’re going to do it ourselves.” Along with the aforementioned Oculus and Portal devices, Facebook is also working on AR glasses. Bosworth reveals that these glasses, codenamed “Orion”, could arrive as early as 2023. Interestingly, Apple is also expected to come out with its own pair of AR glasses around the same time. Facebook is reportedly also working on a brain control interface for its glasses, which could allow users to control them with their thoughts.
Signaling the end to any remaining degrees of separation between Facebook and its VR headset division, Oculus, today the social media company announced that it will be further integrating the two services. Coming this fall, the company will begin sunsetting stand-alone Oculus accounts as part of an effort to transition the entire Oculus ecosystem over to Facebook. This will start in October, when all new Oculus accounts and devices will have to sign up for a Facebook account, while support for existing stand-alone accounts will be retired entirely at the start of 2023.
Previously: Facebook to Buy Rift Maker Oculus VR for $2bn
Facebook/Oculus Ordered to pay $500 Million to ZeniMax
Founder of Oculus VR, Palmer Luckey, Departs Facebook
Facebook Announces Oculus Go for $200
Facebook's Zuckerberg Wants to Get One Billion People in VR
Facebook Launches Oculus Go, a $200 Standalone VR Headset
Oculus Co-Founder Says there is No Market for VR Gaming
John Carmack Steps Down at Oculus to Pursue AI Passion Project
Facebook is Developing its Own OS to Reduce Dependence on Android