Facebook owner Meta has revealed in an earnings report that its virtual and augmented reality division, Reality Labs, has posted roughly $2.9 billion (roughly Rs. 22,970 crore) in losses in Q1 of 2022. As per the report released on Wednesday, Reality Labs brought in a revenue of $695 million (roughly Rs. 5,320 crore) over the first quarter of the year, and while it surpassed the Wall Street-expected $683 million (roughly Rs. 5,230 crore), it nonetheless represents a minuscule percentage of the $27.2 billion (roughly Rs. 2,08,245 crore) in revenue generated by Meta's other apps, including Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp.
Reality Labs may not yet be profitable by a long shot, but it is laying the groundwork for an “exciting 2030s,” said Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, in an after-hours earnings call. "I recognise it's expensive to build this, it's something that's never been built before. And it's a new paradigm for computing and social connection," Zuckerberg said.
"So, over the next several years our goal from a financial perspective is to generate sufficient operating income growth from Family of Apps to fund the growth of investment in Reality Labs, while still growing our overall profitability."
Meta's focus for now, Zuckerberg said, will be on building out better hardware and Horizon Worlds, the company's latest social VR product, to help creators make money.
“Our other focus for Horizon is building out the metaverse economy, and helping creators make a living working in the metaverse," said Zuckerberg. "We expect to be meaningfully better at monetization than others in the space, and we expect that should become a sustainable advantage for our platforms as they develop."
On the hardware side, the company is working on developing virtual reality headsets. It is scheduled to release a higher-end VR headset, codenamed Project Cambria, later this year. That headset will be designed specifically for work use cases and eventually “replace your laptop and work set up,” according to Zuckerberg. The hardware devices will also feature eye tracking and face tracking technology so users can make good eye contact in the virtual world.
In a bid to offer people a glimpse into the company's all-virtual future, Meta Platforms recently decided to open a 1,550 square-foot retail store on the company's Reality Labs campus in Burlingame, California. The company also plans to release a high-end virtual-reality headset and would continue to develop Project Nazare, which is Meta's first fully augmented reality glasses.
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