Facebook VR/AR Division Renamed to Facebook Reality Labs
Facebook’s VR and AR team has now been renamed to Facebook Reality Labs.
The name Facebook Reality Labs was previously used to refer to the R&D division of its VR and AR efforts. That division had began with the name Oculus Research. Following the change yesterday, Oculus Research will now refer to all of Facebook’s efforts in the immersive fields including its consumer Oculus VR hardware, the SparkAR phone-based offerings among others. The original Facebook Reality Labs will remain under the Chief Scientist Michael Abrash as FRL Research.
Facebook confirmed that it is retaining and continuing to use the Oculus branding so its future hardware will still use the “Oculus” brand name. The tech giant is expected to launch a new Oculus Quest version, the Oculus Quest 2, this fall. Facebook also confirmed that no leadership or executive changes were made following the transition/renaming.
Facebook’s VP for VR and AR Andrew Bosworth explained in a blog post that Facebook previously lacked a unified brand identity that could tell its story of how the company “is building the future of VR and AR”.
Bosworth further explained that the company’s annual AR/VR conference Oculus Connect, now in its seventh year, had “grown to include so much more than Oculus” and includes research updates as well as product news from SparkAR and much more. Due to this, the company’s annual AR/VR event will now be known as Facebook Connect which would “better reflect its broader scope.” He stated that Facebook would be sharing more news which represents the work that is going “across the entire Facebook Reality Labs team.”
The move towards a Facebook-focused branding has come just a week after Facebook announced that all first-time sign-ins to Oculus headsets will now need a Facebook account from October 2020. However, the existing Oculus accounts are to be supported until 2023 after which the existing users will lose access to some unspecified features.
The Facebook Connect will occur on September 16 and Facebook has promised to share more news on the event’s new name as well as future plans during the event, which will be streamed online publicly.
Keep it here for a comprehensive coverage of the Facebook Connect event.