Facebook is facing toughest year in its lifetime: This and other key things CTO wrote to employees in memo
Facebook parent Meta has had a rough year. The company laid off as many as 11,000 employees, about 13% of its workforce. The job cuts were announced after intense skepticism from some investors who questioned the company’s futuristic metaverse vision, Reality Labs. In a memo to Meta employees, which was also posted on social media, Meta CEO Andrew Bosworth defended the company’s metaverse vision and made it clear that the company is not backing down on its plans to launch new AR/VR developing technology. Here are all the key things Bosworth wrote in the memo.
Meta remains committed to his vision for Reality Labs
I can say with confidence that after one of the most difficult years in the company’s history, Meta remains as committed to our vision for the future as we were on the day we announced it. As also reflected in our Q3 results, approximately 80% of Meta’s overall investments support the core business, with the other 20% going to Reality Labs. This is a level of investment that we believe makes sense for a company committed to staying at the forefront of one of the most competitive and innovative industries on earth.
Mixed reality is not about displaying a live video stream
Mixed reality is about much more than just displaying a live video stream of your surroundings inside the headset. For this to work properly, the headset needs to understand your room as a 3D space, recognize the surfaces and objects around you and how they can interact with digital objects. This requires technologies such as Spatial Anchors, which allow virtual things to occupy fixed spaces in the physical world, as well as Scene Understanding for reconstructing physical spaces virtually, as well as stereoscopic color pass-through, to capture the physical world and render it accurately in presenting the headphones with a sense of depth for greater comfort. Meta Reality, our mixed reality system, combines all these technologies and more into a single system for developers to build with.
VR devices to become alternatives to laptops and desktops
Over time, it’s clear that mixed reality will help VR devices become increasingly compelling alternatives to laptops and desktops, putting virtual screens and interfaces on your desk or in your hands. It won’t be long before a VR headset is capable of simulating a powerful home computer setup, from a device that fits in a backpack and can be used anywhere. The journey to that type of device took a big step forward this year with Quest Pro.
AR glasses will be much slimmer
Our vision for true AR glasses will require years of progress to make our devices slimmer, lighter, faster and more powerful, all while consuming much less battery power and generating much less heat… One big efficiency gain will come when devices are smart enough to display only the highest resolution graphics in the small area where a user is actually viewing. This October, we demonstrated this capability for the first time thanks to the eye-tracking technology on Quest Pro, and it’s going to drive progress in VR and AR for many years to come.
Thriving community of VR developers, creators and users important
While this early look at the future of VR is important, what’s even more important is the thriving community of VR developers, creators, and users that already exists today. It’s this community, more than any technical breakthrough or hardware advancement, that makes us so confident in the things we build.
Our biggest priority is leveraging investment in AI
At Meta, our biggest priorities as a company are currently taking advantage of over a decade of investment in AI. There are huge advances in research, such as our Make-a-Video and Make-a-Scene work, not to mention Cicero, our agent capable of beating people at a strategy- game played mostly by human language negotiations. Our investments also pay particularly high dividends in ranking and recommendation-driven products like Reels or our core advertising systems, where we see impressive gains as we deploy increasingly powerful AI models. And this is just as true in Reality Labs, where technologies like Meta Reality or Presence Platform are heavily dependent on advanced AI to function.
Can’t wait for the world to see what Meta is working on
Whenever I visit our research labs and demonstrate the early versions of these technologies, it blows my mind, and I can’t wait for the world to see the results of the things we’re building there. The VR hardware and software we’ve released so far is just the tip of the iceberg, and the best days are yet to come.