Meta Platforms Shares Quest Operating System with Competitors

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To increase its control over the developing virtual and mixed reality markets, Meta Platforms announced on Monday that it is now sharing the operating system of its Quest headset with competitors, including Microsoft, for the first time.

The move will allow partner companies to build their headsets using Meta Horizon OS. This rebranded operating system brings capabilities like gesture recognition, passthrough, scene understanding and spatial anchors to the devices that run on it, the company said in a blog post.

The social media company said partners Asus and Lenovo would use the operating system to build devices tailored for particular activities. According to the company’s statement, Meta is also using it to make a limited edition version of the Quest headset “inspired by” Microsoft’s Xbox gaming console.

The move underscores Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s ambition to own the computational platform that powers virtual reality (VR) and mixed reality (MR) devices, similar to how Alphabet’s Google became a key player in the smartphone market by making its mobile OS Android open source.

Meta’s VR business is one of the beneficiaries of that Google strategy, as Meta Horizon OS is itself Android-based.

In a video posted on Zuckerberg’s Instagram account, he previewed examples of specialised headsets partners might make: a lightweight device with sweat-wicking materials for exercise, an immersive high-resolution one for entertainment, and another equipped with sensation-inducing haptics for gaming.

Meta said in its blog post that ASUS’ Republic of Gamers is developing a gaming headset and Lenovo is working on an MR device for productivity, learning, and entertainment using the Horizon OS. Zuckerberg said it may take a few years for these devices to launch.

VR and MR headsets have so far seen limited adoption, mostly from the gaming community and select enterprises that use them for training or remote conferencing. Meta is the current market leader but is starting to face more pressure in the space.

 

Reuters

 

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