In 2021, Mark Zuckerberg’s company made an important pivot, making the metaverse its new priority. To reflect this, the name has been changed to Meta. And moreover, it has spent lavishly to develop this metaverse, as well as the AR/VR helmets/glasses allowing access to it.
But unfortunately for Zuckerberg, Meta has had to tighten its belt today, due to a slowdown in growth at the start of the year. In the first quarter, profits fell 21%. Revenues, at $27.9 billion, grew only 7% (too slow growth).
Thus, Meta must therefore reduce its expenses. And obviously, this also concerns the development of AR/VR products, which are nevertheless the top priority for the group.
According to an article recently published by Reuters, chief technology officer Andrew Bosworth spoke to employees of Reality Labs (the branch that develops virtual reality and augmented reality products) to explain that changes are coming. in the coming weeks. This division of Meta will also suffer cuts.
Reuters also reports that a representative of the group confirmed that Bosworth did explain to these employees that the division can no longer afford to pursue certain projects, while others have been postponed. Unfortunately, it is not known which AR/VR projects are affected by these cuts.
Meta can no longer spend lavishly
This news comes as recently, Meta also reportedly told its employees that as part of the spending cuts, the group will be recruiting less. “We entered 2022 with really aggressive growth targets and have been hiring at an incredible pace this year so far – we have hired more engineers in the first quarter than in all of 2021,” David Wehner, Meta’s chief financial officer, reportedly explained to employees. But because of the headwinds facing the group, it must revise its recruitment ambitions downwards, and give priority to the most important projects.
” […] it will be an opportunity to reprioritize work to make sure we are all focused on the things that matter most and the top priorities of the business”would also have written the financial manager in the note which was addressed to the employees.
In any case, it would seem that the Cambria project is not concerned. Recently, the CEO of Meta made a post on his profile to give new insight into this virtual reality and augmented reality headset, which the company has been working on for a while.
“Project Cambria’s color passthrough technology will allow developers to create a whole new level of mixed reality experiences”he wrote in his publication, also promising to share more details.
While the Oculus Quest 2 headset only allows the experience of virtual reality, the Cambria project headset will allow virtual reality to be combined with augmented reality, which allows virtual elements to be superimposed on the environment in which the user is located. Therefore, it should be a more upscale product, surely comparable to the helmet on which Apple would work.
Recently, by the way, a representative of Meta confirmed that this helmet will cost much more than 800 dollars in the United States. Otherwise, a leaked roadmap indicates that by 2024, Meta should release 4 AR/VR products (Cambria included).
Currently, the forecast is rather optimistic for the AR/VR product market. According to data from Counterpoint, for example, shipments would increase tenfold by 2025, from 11 million units in 2021 to 105 million units in 2025.