Monday, May 20, 2024

Meta Expands Horizon OS Access to Microsoft and Other Tech Giants, Bolstering Mixed-Reality Market

In a significant expansion move, Meta has decided to open its proprietary Horizon OS, originally powering its Meta Quest mixed-reality headsets, to renowned hardware producers including Microsoft, ASUS, and Lenovo. This strategic decision aims to cultivate a broader ecosystem for mixed-reality applications and enhance user and developer engagement across diverse hardware platforms.

Meta’s decision to share its Horizon OS with leading technology firms marks a pivotal shift in the mixed-reality landscape. The operating system, known for its advanced gesture control capabilities and high-resolution passthrough, will soon be integrated into devices manufactured by Microsoft, ASUS, and others, promising a richer and more interactive user experience.

The Horizon OS, developed internally by Meta, is celebrated for its sophisticated scene understanding and spatial anchors that allow precise user interaction within a virtual environment. By extending its OS to third-party hardware, Meta not only diversifies the mixed-reality experience but also sets the stage for a surge in innovative applications.

Developers will particularly benefit from Meta’s open approach, as they will now have the opportunity to design and monetize new applications through the Meta Horizon Store, formerly known as the Meta Quest Store. This expansion is anticipated to generate a more dynamic marketplace for mixed-reality content, driving forward both technological advancement and consumer adoption.

Additional Details: Meta ensures that the social functionalities that have been integral to the Meta Quest ecosystem will be available across all devices equipped with Horizon OS. This interoperability is expected to enhance social connectivity, allowing users to interact with a vast network of avatars and friends, regardless of their device’s manufacturer.

Moreover, all devices powered by the Horizon OS will be unified under the Meta Horizon App, providing a seamless user experience across different platforms. Among the hardware developers, ASUS’s Republic of Gamers is designing a new gaming headset under its esteemed ROG brand, Lenovo is enhancing its offerings in productivity and entertainment, and Microsoft has collaborated with Meta to develop a special edition Meta Quest headset inspired by the Xbox console.

Technological Foundations: All upcoming devices in this ecosystem will be powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon platform, ensuring high performance and compatibility. The current Meta Quest 3 utilizes the Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 chipset, specifically engineered for optimal mixed-reality experiences, indicating a continued commitment to cutting-edge technology in future iterations.

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