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How Meta was inspired by Android to establish itself in AR/VR

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Present on the mixed reality market for years (since the acquisition of the company Oculus), Mark Zuckerberg's Meta group must now face competition from Apple. This year, the Cupertino company launched its Vision Pro mixed reality headset. And despite its exorbitant price, the launch was successful in the United States. Now, Apple is considering marketing this headset in other countries.

Meta goes on the offensive

But if you think that Apple's arrival on mixed reality has worried Meta, you may be wrong. According to a Wall Street Journal article published in January, Meta executives were even optimistic. Indeed, the arrival of Apple would be considered validation, while Meta has already spent tens of billions of dollars in mixed reality. On the other hand, Mark Zuckerberg's group would have estimated that the arrival of the Vision Pro will increase the general public's interest in virtual reality and augmented reality.

Also according to the WSJ, in January, Meta would consider positioning its mixed reality platform as the anti-Apple, or the equivalent of Android for virtual reality and augmented reality. And today, this strategy is becoming clearer since in a press release, Meta announces the opening of its platform to other brands of AR/VR headsets. Instead of developing a new ecosystem themselves to compete with Vision Pro, manufacturers will be able to use the Meta Horizon OS operating system, which is already used by Meta Quest products.

A new era, according to Meta

Among the brands that will use the Meta platform, there is ASUS Republic of Gamers, which is developing a mixed reality headset optimized for video games, and under Meta Horizon OS. As for Lenovo, it will offer a similar product, but optimized for productivity. And, in collaboration with Xbox, Meta is preparing a version of Meta Quest inspired by the Xbox.

For Meta, interest The reason for this openness is that it allows consumers to have more choice, while developers will be more motivated to create apps or games for Meta Horizon OS.And in addition to benefiting from the software that Meta has developed for a decade, brands that use the Meta Horizon OS operating system will also benefit from the collaboration between Meta and Qualcomm, the processor manufacturer. Indeed, Meta's software is already optimized for Qualcomm's augmented reality chips.

A nod to Android

We do not know precisely under what conditions brands of mixed reality headsets will be able to use the Meta operating system. But in any case, the positioning is clear: the group wants to make Horizon OS occupy, in this market, the place that Android occupies on smartphones. Moreover, Meta's press release even includes a nod to the mobile operating system. “This long-term investment, which began on the mobile foundations of the Android Open Source Project, has produced a fully mixed reality operating system used by millions of people”, we can read. And while Apple's Vision Pro is a closed system, Meta Horizon OS becomes an open platform where users will not be forced to download their apps from the official store .

In addition to the Horizon Store app store, Meta offers an alternative store called App Lab “ which allows any developer who meets the basic technical and content requirements to publish software on the platform.” And in its announcement, the group indicates that it will give more visibility to App Lab. On the other hand, Meta will accept third-party application stores. He also invites Google to offer its Play Store on Horizon OS and promises that the Mountain View firm will be able to exploit the same economic model as on smartphones.< /p>

Finally, Meta intends to enrich the Horizon OS application catalog by relying on mobile application developers. This is developing a framework that will make it possible to port mobile applications to the mixed reality headset, or to develop new AR/VR versions of these mobile applications.

Une new competition arrives

In any case, it should be noted that Meta is making this important announcement as it will soon face competition from Google and Samsung. In 2023, during the presentation of the Galaxy S23 series, Samsung announced a partnership with Google to develop an augmented reality platform. And normally, new information on this platform will be shared during the Google I/O conference, scheduled for May.

  • In order to counter Apple's Vision Pro, the Meta group seems to be inspired by the strategy of Android
  • Its Horizon OS operating system can now be used by other brands of AR/VR headsets
  • Also, unlike the Vision Pro operating system, Horizon will not be a closed system

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Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116