This week marks Facebook’s next big step towards its metaverse future as current Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Mike Schroepfer has announced he’ll be stepping down next year after 13 years at the company. Taking his place will be head of Facebook Reality Lab (FRL) Andrew ‘Boz’ Bosworth, continuing Facebook’s work in virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR).
In a statement on his Facebook profile, Schroepfer said: “I have made the decision to step down as Chief Technology Officer and transition to a new part time role as Facebook’s first Senior Fellow at the company sometime in 2022.” This was a personal choice with him going on to say: “This change in role will allow me to dedicate more time to my family and my personal philanthropic efforts while staying deeply connected to the company working on key initiatives including recruiting and developing technical talent.”
This process will be very gradual by all accounts with Bosworth continuing to oversee FRL as he assumes more responsibilities at Facebook. “As our next CTO, Boz will continue leading Facebook Reality Labs and overseeing our work in augmented reality, virtual reality and more, and as part of this transition a few other groups will join Boz’s team as well. This is all foundational to our broader efforts helping to build the metaverse, and I’m excited about the future of this work under Boz’s leadership,” said CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a statement.
The announcement comes as Facebook continues to ramp up its hardware efforts across a number of product lines. This week saw new Portal devices revealed and a couple of weeks ago Facebook’s first entry into the smart glasses sector with Ray-Ban Stories, essentially camera-equipped sunglasses. While these weren’t AR glasses the company’s Project Aria is working towards that eventual solution.
When it comes to that metaverse vision of Zuckerberg’s, the Oculus Quest platform is going to play an important role. Oculus Quest 2 recently saw and upgrade with the standard £299 model now sporting 128GB of internal memory. Facebook Connect is only a month away with biggest VR and AR news usually saved for the event. VRFocus is expecting either Bosworth or Zuckerberg to confirm new details regarding Oculus Quest Pro, a device both have teased will feature more sensors to make the experience more immersive.
As further details arise regarding Bosworth’s plan for his new role VRFocus will keep you updated.