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New XR Horizon: Meta consolidates the Market with its Ecosystem

New Horizon is here! To redefine the next generation of computing, make XR more accessible, and the development of solutions faster and more efficient, Meta announced Meta Horizon OS, unveiling the company’s focus on its own ecosystem. Meta Horizon Store will appear instead of the Quest Store, and with optimized operations, it is promised to elevate the content distribution system. Managing risks and creating its strategic advantage by proposing ecosystem benefits for XR content developers and hardware creators, like enhanced operations and compatibility, as well as more effective reach to the broader user audiences, Meta seems to strive for a unique leadership format on the market.

Meta Horizon OS: Users

“The key idea of Meta Horizon OS is to bring a feeling of presence with people no matter where you are physically, bring digital objects like huge screens into your physical space, navigate and interact with virtual spaces, to supporting developers and creators,” says Makr Zuckerberg. He says that even though all these features are already available at Meta Quest, now, together with the partners and the headset providers, they will be focusing on specific use cases, for example, productivity for work, emphasizing the “lightweight headset that pairs with your computer on your desk to provide the best work experience with you at home or anywhere else you go or you can imagine”. This idea totally aligns with Meta’s emphasis on enterprise solutions, addressing the comfort of the hardware and the accessibility of content from anywhere to ensure users are engaged in work. In Lucid Reality Labs, we believe this consolidation of XR companies on one platform will allow users to have a louder voice in the XR market and, therefore, obtain a constant improvement of the quality of the content and hardware and see how it evolves to be tailored to the users needs.

Meta Horizon OS: Developers

The Meta Horizon OS will power Meta Quest headsets and future third-party partner devices like those by Lenovo, Microsoft, and ASUS. It will offer a unified platform for developers to build and deploy their titles across a variety of MR and VR devices. This means developers can write their titles once and run them on various devices, streamlining the development process and expanding their reach. 

For mobile developers, Meta is introducing a new spatial app framework to help create mixed-reality experiences, opening up new possibilities for immersive experiences. Lucid Reality Labs sees this as an opportunity to optimize the development process, reduce the time required for development, create more cost-effective possibilities, and lower the entry barrier for businesses to start integrating XR into their products and services. 

Content Distribution and Open Standards Commitment

The Meta Quest Store will be renamed to the Meta Horizon Store, offering immersive apps and experiences and remaining main distribution channel as Meta is transitioning to a single, unified storefront from the existing Store and App Lab. This shift will make it easier for developers to publish their titles and reach their audiences, streamlining the distribution process.

Furthermore, Meta remains committed to open standards for mixed reality software, investing in initiatives like OpenXR and WebXR to promote an open and interoperable software ecosystem that aims at empowering developers.

Read more: Alliances to disrupt XR industry: Strategic moves from Meta, LG, Sony, Samsung and others

How Meta Horizon Impacts XR world: Lucid Reality Labs insights

Many platforms are now opening their Mobile Device Management (MDM) solutions to enhance user and developer outcomes. Streamlining the development process and content interaction creates smoother, more accessible, and inclusive experiences, leading to efficient operations, cost-effectiveness, and user satisfaction.

Apple recently introduced MDM features in visionOS v1.1.1, its first-ever spatial operating system. This move signifies Apple’s significant entry into the enterprise domain, enabling businesses to fully utilize Spatial technology while leveraging Apple Vision Pro for communication, collaboration, and productivity enhancement.

Google is also entering the game with the upcoming Android XR operating system release. Meta’s launch of the Meta Horizon OS demonstrates its commitment to strategic leadership in the XR industry.

At Lucid Reality Labs, we view Meta’s launch as a pivotal moment in the market, a move that aligns with the ecosystem paradigm and paves the way for exciting new opportunities for long-term partnerships. With the market expanding at a rapid pace, consolidating partners on one platform will allow Meta Horizon OS to offer significant potential for growth and innovation.

Bringing device and content developers onto one platform seems a natural progression for Meta, offering ecosystem benefits like infrastructure, streamlined processes, and access to broader user audiences through elevated content distribution, which can attract content developers and hardware creators. We anticipate a wave of global brands joining the platform to harness the ecosystem’s benefits; this underscores the crucial role of strategic partnerships in the XR industry.

For Meta, establishing its own ecosystem is not just a move, it’s a strategic risk management decision. This approach allows Meta to rely on its assets, processes, and features, effectively minimizing risks and ensuring meticulous control over every detail. In the meantime, privacy and data sharing will stay in Meta’s focus as they remain one of the most vital risks in the domain.

Generally, this step aligns with Meta’s recent strategic moves to gain a larger market share and establish its leading position. Last year’s launch of Meta Quest 2, with a notable quality-price ratio, increased Meta’s market penetration, advancing the XR content and hardware markets accordingly. This creates numerous opportunities for businesses that consider XR their future. The pace of software creation is surpassing hardware development, indicating that software quality and requirements will dictate hardware specifications. Collaborating with software and system owners will be a significant focus for developers shortly, and Meta will play a substantial role in it.

Read also: The state-of-the-art Quantum Computing & Spatial Personas launch

About Lucid Reality Labs

Lucid Reality Labs is a visionary XR development company that crafts complex solutions through spatial technology. Immersive solutions with impact – from concept & design to development & support. With a strategic focus on Healthcare, Life Science, Aerospace & Defense, and many more. We equip industries with the boundless potential of immersive technology.

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