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Facebook's VR/AR Division Renamed Facebook Reality Labs

Facebook has a new name for its entire VR and AR team – Facebook Reality Labs.

Okay, a sort of new name.

Previously, Facebook Reality Labs referred to the R&D division of the company’s VR and AR work, which itself started out as Oculus Research. As of today, though, that refers to every element of the social networking giant’s efforts in these fields, from consumer Oculus headsets to its SparkAR smartphone offerings and beyond. The original Reality Labs will continue on under Chief Scientist Michael Abrash as FRL Research.

A Facebook spokesperson confirmed that the company will still retain and use the Oculus branding, so expect future hardware like the heavily-rumored new Oculus Quest to still carry that label. Whats more, the company confirmed there have been no leadership or executive changes made in the transition.

In a blog post announcing the news — along with a date for the newly-named Facebook Connect developer event — Facebook VP of VR and AR Andrew Bosworth reasoned that the company had previously “lacked a unified brand identity from which to tell the story of how we’re building the future of VR and AR.”

“This is our seventh year hosting our annual AR/VR conference, and over the years, Connect has grown to include so much more than Oculus, with research updates and product news from Spark AR and more,” Bosworth wrote. “Moving forward, our annual AR/VR event will be called Facebook Connect to better reflect its broader scope, and we look forward to sharing even more news that represents the work happening across the entire Facebook Reality Labs team.”

Facebook Doubles Down On Facebook

The news comes a week after Facebook announced that, from October 2020, all first-time sign-ins to Oculus headsets will require a Facebook account. Existing Oculus accounts will be supported up until 2023, when users will lose access to unspecified features.

Facebook Connect takes place on September 16, and the company says it will share more on its new name and plans for the future during the show. We’ll be bringing you extensive coverage over the course of the event.

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