Meta licenses Quest’s OS to third-party manufacturers

Meta’s intention with partnering up the Horizon OS with other headset manufacturers is to “create a new ecosystem of mixed reality devices, and we’re making it even easier for developers to build mixed reality apps,” a blog post by the company said. 

April 23, 2024 03:45 pm | Updated 03:45 pm IST

FILE PHOTO: Meta has started licensing the operating system for its Quest headsets to external hardware companies like Lenovo, ASUS and Microsoft.

FILE PHOTO: Meta has started licensing the operating system for its Quest headsets to external hardware companies like Lenovo, ASUS and Microsoft. | Photo Credit: NATHAN FRANDINO

Meta has started licensing the operating system for its Quest headsets to external hardware companies like Lenovo, ASUS and Microsoft, the company said on Monday. Meta’s intention with partnering up the Horizon OS with other headset manufacturers is to “create a new ecosystem of mixed reality devices, and we’re making it even easier for developers to build mixed reality apps,” a blog post by the company said. 

The Mark Zuckerberg-led company is also pushing for other ways to discover alternative app stores. It is highlighting its experimental App Lab store while also welcoming Google’s Play Store to its OS. The blog post also mentioned that Meta is working on a spatial framework so developers can easily port their mobile apps to Horizon OS.

Zuckerberg shared the news on Instagram in a video saying the announcement means this situation now in VR headsets will be similar to the Android versus iOS relationship in smartphones. While Apple’s VisionPro headset is vertically integrated, it will have to compete against the range of different hardware brands at cheaper prices, which will now be running on Meta’s OS. 

“In every era of computing, there are always open and closed models,” Zuckerberg said. “With phones, Apple’s closed model basically won out. Phones are tightly controlled, and you’re locked into what they’ll let you do. But it doesn’t have to be this way.”

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Meta like many other tech companies, has for a long time complained about Apple’s App Store rules and wants to position his company as having a more open ethos. “Our goal is to make it said the open model defines the next generation of computing again with the metaverse, glasses and headsets,” Zuckerberg said. 

Horizon OS also includes the Horizon social layer which is a 3D open-world platform much like Roblox and The Sims. Meanwhile, Meta has been working to improve Horizon and recently rolled it out to the web and mobile devices as a 2D experience. Meta’s licensing of its OS will expand the network of the Horizon and help the company to eventually monetise with ads. 

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