Samsung teased its upcoming XR headset earlier this year. The company announced it is working on “XR experiences” with Google and Qualcomm. Samsung's first extended reality headset is expected to run Google's operating system and use Qualcomm's processor. However, the XR headset could have a pretty shaky start as it reportedly decided to delay the launch to use updated hardware. It could also experience issues on the software front.
Google's head of AR software has resigned, citing a lack of clear vision from the company
Yesterday, Google's head of AR software, Mark Lucovsky, suddenly resigned, citing the company's lack of clear vision on the AR front. Lucovsky was critical of Google in his tweet, claiming that “changes in AR leadership and Google's unstable commitment and vision” forced him to leave his position as the Senior Director of Engineering of the AR software division. Before joining Google, Lucovsky was the General Manager of Oculus VR at Meta for four years. He is still exploring opportunities in the AR space.
Google's AR division has faced several setbacks over the past few months. Clay Bavor, the company's head of VR, left Google in February 2023. And now, its head of AR software has left the company. Google was originally planning to launch its own AR glasses (codenamed Project Iris), but it laid off a lot of people in the AR/VR division and then decided to make software called Micro XR for AR headsets from other brands (like Samsung). It also discontinued the enterprise version of Google Glasses.
Things are not looking so good for Samsung's XR headset
With no clear vision from Google on the AR front, Samsung's XR headset could face many difficulties in terms of software and applications, at least initially. The South Korean firm reportedly decided last month to delay the launch of its upcoming XR headset after looking at the specifications and performance of Apple's first AR headset Vision Pro.
Google is known for launching new products only to abandon them in a few years. There's a whole website that keeps track of products that Google killed. Apple, on the other, keeps on trying until it succeeds. With Google setting the direction for Samsung's XR headset software, it is looking tougher for the South Korean firm to succeed in the AR space, especially when competing with Apple's Vision Pro.