Meta opens its mixed-reality Horizon OS to other headset makers – Computerworld

Several companies have already lined up to incorporate Horizon OS into their hardware: Lenovo, Asus, and Microsoft’s Xbox gaming business. 

Asus and Xbox will focus on gaming, while Lenovo — which previously partnered with Meta to produce the Oculus Rift S — will develop headsets targeted at “productivity, learning and development,” Meta said. It may take a couple of years before the devices are available, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in an Instagram video message Monday.  

By opening its OS to others in the market, Meta is “taking a page out of the Google playbook,” said Ramon Llamas, research director with IDC’s devices and displays team, referencing Android’s position in the smartphone and smartwatch markets. 

“Google put together the platform and a bunch of vendors ran with it,” he said, noting that Google’s own hardware competes with partners such as Samsung and others that rely on Android.

As with Android on smartphones, access to a pre-existing software ecosystem is a big draw for mixed-reality headset vendors, particularly at an early stage of the market when demand remains low.

Eliminating barriers for hardware makers

Creating a mixed-reality headset is a significant engineering challenge for hardware makers, Llamas said, and the need to also build the underlying software compounds the issue. “Especially if you’re a small player, that’s a terrific hurdle to cross,” he said.


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