Opening Doors to Third-Party VR/AR Collabs

In a significant move, Meta has announced that its Meta Horizon OS, the operating system powering its popular Quest line of VR headsets, will be open to third-party manufacturers. This decision marks a strategic shift towards an open ecosystem for virtual, augmented, and mixed reality (VR/AR/MR) technologies.

Leading tech companies Asus and Lenovo are the first to jump on board, with Asus developing a ROG-branded VR headset geared towards gamers, while Lenovo focuses on mixed reality devices designed for productivity, education, and entertainment. This variety demonstrates the potential of Horizon OS to cater to diverse user needs.

Meta Opens Up Horizon OS, Signaling Broader VR/AR Ecosystem

While not explicitly confirmed, Meta strongly suggests these new devices will utilize Qualcomm chipsets, similar to their recently released Quest 3. Additionally, a special edition “Meta Quest, inspired by Xbox” co-developed with Microsoft, hints at further collaborations within the industry.

To streamline the user experience, Meta is renaming its VR app store and mobile companion app to “Meta Horizon Store” and “Horizon mobile app” respectively, aligning them with the OS branding. Furthermore, they are breaking down barriers between the official store and App Lab, a platform for developers to publish less polished experiences. This move expands app discovery options for users and simplifies app creation for developers.

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Meta’s ambition extends beyond just hardware partnerships. They actively encourage the integration of the Google Play store into Horizon OS. Potentially offering a vast library of existing 2D mobile apps adapted for the MR environment. Whether Google accepts this invitation remains to be seen. But it demonstrates Meta’s commitment to a rich and diverse app ecosystem.

To empower mobile app developers to create immersive mixed reality experiences, Meta is developing a new “spatial app framework.” This framework utilizes familiar development tools. Allowing developers to port existing apps or create entirely new MR experiences for Horizon OS.

By opening up Horizon OS and fostering collaboration, Meta aims to replicate the success stories of Windows and Android in the VR/AR/MR space. Their vision is for Horizon OS to become the dominant platform. Powering a wide range of devices from various manufacturers and fostering a thriving app ecosystem. This strategic shift has the potential to significantly accelerate the growth and adoption of VR/AR/MR technologies. Paving the way for a more immersive and interactive future.

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