Meta Restructures Reality Labs Team, Forms Two Separate Divisions for Metaverse, Wearables: Report

Meta is attempting to enhance and streamline its operations in the Web3 and wearables markets. The company has reportedly divided its Reality Labs team into two separate entities where one team will work on the metaverse-focussed Quest headsets and the other will dedicate its time to hardware wearables that Meta may launch in the future. As per a report that surfaced online recently, Meta’s CTO Andrew Bosworth announced this segregation in the Reality Labs team earlier this week.

What is Reality Labs, and what are Meta’s plans for it?

After Mark Zuckerberg rebranded Facebook to Meta in 2021, he formed the Reality Labs unit formally in 2022. This division merged multiple initiatives that were already being worked upon within the company like Artificial Intelligence, virtual headsets, as well as CTRL Labs among others. Later, the Reality Labs unit of Meta also became the centre point of the company’s exploration into the metaverse technology.

According to a report by The Verge Bosworth conveyed details about the internal restructuring through at Meta througha memo. The website also reported that layoffs have also been announced for some members of the team. The exact number of people terminated remains unknown for now – but the report claims that it was a relatively small group.

Moving forward, all of Meta’s initiatives related to the metaverse technology will be reportedly handled by the newly separated Metaverse division. The Quest VR headset, its operating system called Horizon OS, as well as Meta’s social VR platform Horizon Worlds will be overseen by the Metaverse unit, as per the report. Horizon leader Vishal Shah will reportedly now monitor developments around the Quest headsets as well.

In 2022, Meta refreshed the Quest headset lineup with the ‘Meta Quest Pro’ that starts at the price point of $999 (roughly Rs. 83,520). In 2023, Meta unveiled the Meta Quest 3 priced at $499.99 (roughly Rs. 41,800). As of March 2023, Meta had reportedly sold 20 million Quest headsets.

Meanwhile, the company has not yet addressed the reported development publicly.

Meta’s Metaverse journey so far

Zuckerberg announced his big plans to venture into the metaverse industry when he rebranded Facebook to Meta in October 8, 2021. With Web3 technologies meeting with scrutiny around the world because of their links to volatile and risky digital assets, the growth of these technologies have been gradual.

Meta’s Reality Labs unit has been reporting losses constantly since the rebranding. Reality Labs lost $13.7 billion (roughly Rs. 1,12,200 crore) in 2022, whereas it suffered a loss of $46.5 billion while generating nearly $11 billion (roughly Rs. 91,744 crore) in revenue in the fourth quarter of 2023.

In May 2023, Meta had commissioned a study that claimed that the metaverse could contribute as much as $760 billion (roughly Rs. 62,36,088 crore) or about 2.4 percent to the US annual gross domestic product (GDP) by 2035. Zuckerberg projects that his metaverse initiatives could see more losses in the coming times but he remains diligent about exploring its use cases.

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