Google’s AR software leader is out over the company’s ‘unstable commitment and vision’

Illustration: The Verge

Mark Lucovsky, the former head of operating systems on Google’s augmented reality team, has left the company. In a tweet on Monday, Lucovsky says “changes in AR leadership and Google’s unstable commitment and vision” contributed to his decision.

Lucovsky’s departure adds to the numerous challenges Google’s AR team has faced in recent months, including a round of layoffs and the resignation of Google’s former head of VR, Clay Bavor. In June, a report from Insider indicated that Google has given up on its plans to build AR glasses, codenamed Project Iris. It’s also discontinued the enterprise edition of Google Glass.

Lucovsky worked at Facebook for four years, where he served as the general manager of Oculus VR. He joined Google in 2021 to lead the OS team for AR at Google.

“Moving forward, I am eager to explore opportunities that allow me to further advance Augmented Reality technology and its intersection with generative AI,” Lucovsky writes. “I approach the next chapter with enthusiasm and anticipation for the exciting possibilities that lie ahead.”

With the release of the Quest 3 headset and the planned launch of the Apple Vision Pro, the mixed reality industry is getting more crowded — and a lot more competitive. According to Insider, Google is shifting away from AR hardware and will instead build software for AR products. It’s reportedly developing a “micro XR” platform that it could sell to other headset makers and is also working on a mixed reality project in partnership with Samsung and Qualcomm.

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