Shortly after Google appeared to have quit its VR plans, now XR- and AR-focused Senior Director of Engineering Mark Lucovsky is also leaving. Via a tweet, he let it be known that his decision was heavily influenced by an “unstable commitment and vision” at the company.
Lucovsky previously worked as general manager at Oculus VR. His departure comes at a time of uncertainty surrounding mixed reality, augmented reality and virtual reality. Not too long ago, Apple unveiled the Vision Pro, which received high praise and debuted the term “spatial computing” to make it a buzzword within the industry. Despite its hefty $3,500 price tag, the unveiling of the Vision Pro has already led to changes in Samsung’s hardware plans.
Striking and significant
We have only a couple of tweets from Lucovsky as new findings, but they say more than the number of characters suggests. After all, the allegation of a lack of vision is a hefty one. There is still no real stability to be found within the VR/AR/XR market, and the initiatives are often vastly different in nature. For example, Microsoft’s AR glasses, the Hololens, have proven helpful in aviation to make maintenance easier.
As for Google, from 2016 to 2019, there was the Daydream-VR glasses. It cost less than $100 and required a compatible smartphone. In fact, it was a response to the Samsung GearVR and like that product, it could not count on long-term support.
Will there be a counterpart to Apple software?
Meanwhile, the market has matured, with the Meta Quest 3 as an upcoming successor to the popular Quest 2. Most headsets are equipped with an onboard SoC, as will be the case for the Vision Pro. Ergonomically, we still see many different solutions, and in terms of software, there is absolutely no standard yet.
We should expect Apple, with VisionOS, to be seemlessly integrated within the “walled garden” of iPhones, iPads and Macs. However, recent reports seemed to indicate that Samsung was going to get a Google-based OS with its next headset. Should that remain the case, Lucovsky’s reason for leaving is extra meaningful. After all, then the chance of a true competitor to VisionOS anno 2024 seems unlikely.