Will the metaverse and augmented reality really change the way we access systems? Even with some really impressive stuff like Apple's Vision Pro on the way, it feels like much of the early hype is already starting to fade. We've already seen Google grappling with the fallout from the termination of its ambitious "Project Iris" earlier this year, and now the company faces yet another stumbling block on its rocky path towards augmented reality and mixed reality, with the unexpected resignation of Mark Lucovsky, its Senior Director of Engineering, Operating Systems, AR.
Lucovsky has had a huge influence on the computer sector across his career, daring back to work on Microsoft's Windows NT OS in the 1990s. After leading Facebook's initiative to create a new operating system for AR glasses, he left the company in 2021 due to concerns about its platform management. Hardly two months had passed since he began directing Google's XR operating system project before making his most recent statement. However, Google's track record of frequently canceling projects and perceived lack of commitment may have contributed to the brevity of his tenure there.
The resignation of Lucovsky comes at a crucial time for Google. He cites "recent changes in AR leadership and Google's uncertain commitment and vision" as key motivators for his choice, announcing his leave on Twitter.
His decision might be directly related to recent modifications made to Google's AR/XR strategy. Following the abandonment of Project Iris, the company chose to concentrate on offering XR operating systems for manufacturers like Samsung. The potential abandonment of the operating systems that Lucovsky was overseeing may have actively influenced his decision to depart.
With Lucovsky's departure, the uncertainty surrounding Google's XR ambitions is more apparent than ever. Perhaps Google will decide to keep developing its OS with a new engineering director at the helm. As for Lucovsky, he is ready to investigate business opportunities at the nexus of generative AI and augmented reality, with a future return to Microsoft hinted at in a lighthearted Twitter conversation with the company's chief scientific officer, Eric Horvitz.