Meta Expands VR Operating System to Third-Party Hardware Makers

Facebook parent company Meta today announced the upcoming expansion of Meta Horizon OS, a virtual and augmented reality operating system that will be available to third-party hardware manufacturers that want to design their own headsets.

meta quest 3
Right now, Meta sells the Quest line of headsets, but the company wants to provide the software for third-party VR and AR products in the future, much like Microsoft offers Windows for all manner of third-party PCs.

Meta Horizon OS is the mixed reality operating system that Meta created for its own Quest headsets, and it has support for eye, face, hand, and body tracking along with passthrough, spatial anchors, scene understanding, and other features. There is a "social layer" that will allow the identities, avatars, and friends of users to move between virtual spaces on different devices.

According to Meta, multiple companies are working on devices that will use Meta Horizon OS. ASUS ROG is developing a performance gaming headset and Lenovo is working on mixed reality devices for productivity, learning, and entertainment. Meta says that it is also creating a limited edition version of Meta Quest in partnership with Xbox.

With the expansion of Meta Horizon OS to third-party hardware manufacturers, Meta is making it easier for any developer to ship VR software on the platform by removing barriers between the Horizon Store and App Lab.

By creating an operating system that can be used by other hardware manufacturers, Meta is inserting itself into the growing AR/VR ecosystem and creating opportunities for it to outpace Apple in mixed reality development. Apple launched the Vision Pro headset earlier this year, but software is lacking given the high price and limited distribution of the device.

According to a report from earlier today, interest in the Vision Pro is already waning at Apple's retail locations with fewer people requesting demos.

Tag: Meta

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Top Rated Comments

darngooddesign Avatar
5 weeks ago

Unfortunately the dystopia is already here.

Then dystopia happens a long time ago.

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Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Harry Haller Avatar
5 weeks ago

It seems that Meta and Tim Cook have a shared dystopian vision for the future.

Unfortunately the dystopia is already here.

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Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
erikkfi Avatar
5 weeks ago
This product category is kind of a dead end in its current form, but I will never, ever, ever use another product made by Meta. If they have a total monopoly over the category and almost all of society's business requires the use of one, I'll live off the grid.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
klasma Avatar
5 weeks ago

focused on the wrong thing (gaming and VR controllers)
Those seem like the right things to focus on for VR?
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
frownface Avatar
5 weeks ago

A mediocre operative system that is focused on the wrong thing (gaming and VR controllers) while trying to push cartoonish avatars into business meetings. I don't know Mark...
Gaming and porn will be the main drivers for mass adoption of these things.

It's not going to be because they're great for business meeting.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Amazing Iceman Avatar
5 weeks ago
Meta and Apple have a different goal in mind for their products:
Meta: Metaverse as a social universe. Their source of revenue is not based on selling devices but services that can help them with their data mining. That’s why they are angry at Apple for pushing hard towards user privacy.

Apple: AR/VR device as a productivity tool with app consumption and as an entertainment device. Social interactions needed for data mining are not in their plans, except for regular communications that don’t compromise user privacy. In plain words, Apple is not pushing for a “metaverse-like” environment.

That’s why comparing both products don’t make much sense. Each has its main purpose.
That’s why we never heard of surgeons using Quests to operate on patients, or engineers designing high precision machinery using a Quest.
Two products aimed at different markets.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)