Meta Debuts HorizonOS and Headset Partnerships for “New Reality” Push

Z Patel

Meta has introduced HorizonOS, a newly rebranded operating system previously known as Quest software. HorizonOS’ announcement via an Instagram video by CEO Mark Zuckerberg, outlined Meta’s ambition to diversify its offerings beyond the general-use Quest devices.

What’s Happening & Why This Matters

HorizonOS wants to transform the user experience in mixed reality (MR) headsets. Unlike the traditional single-purpose devices, HorizonOS will power a variety of headsets designed for specific needs. High-end OLED display headsets will create immersive experiences for movie watching. Lightweight versions will be optimized for productivity and dynamic gaming-oriented models. Models’ diversification is designed to cater to a broader range of consumer needs and preferences. Meta’s collaboration with Asus will produce a gaming headset under the Republic of Gamers (ROG) brand. Working with Lenovo, another model will focus on creating general-purpose headsets geared towards productivity and entertainment. In partnership with Microsoft’s Xbox will introduce a special edition Meta Quest bundled with an Xbox controller and access to Xbox Cloud Gaming and Game Pass. These synergies present Meta’s desire to creating an extensible, versatile, interconnected ecosystem.

HorizonOS names ambitious hardware partners to drive new entertainment and productivity experiences. Credit: Android central

Social Connectivity & Developer Support

A distinctive feature of HorizonOS is its social layer which supports identities, avatars, social graphs, and friend groups. The social layers enables user across different devices to connect and share virtual spaces. Additionally, Meta is simplifying the process for developers to create mixed reality apps by enhancing the spatial app framework (aka the structure to build experiences). This will streamline the process to publish apps on the Meta Horizon Store and App Lab.

While specific pricing, specs, and release dates for the new devices remain undisclosed, Zuckerberg noted that fully realizing this ecosystem may take a few years to achieve. The introduction of HorizonOS cements Meta’s role as a pioneer in the mixed reality market. It also pits Meta against Apple, a budding rival with Apple’s Vision Pro headset. Meta vs. Apple is shaping up to be as competitive as Android and iOS in the smartphone sector.

TF Summary: What’s Next

Meta’s HorizonOS broadens the MR platform for consumer electronics. As Meta enlarges its vision, industry players and watchers can only speculate how these changes can reshape entertainment, productivity, research, and so much more.

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By Z Patel “TF AI Specialist”
Zara ‘Z’ Patel stands as a beacon of expertise in the field of digital innovation and Artificial Intelligence. Holding a Ph.D. in Computer Science with a specialization in Machine Learning, Z has worked extensively in AI research and development. Her career includes tenure at leading tech firms where she contributed to breakthrough innovations in AI applications. Z is passionate about the ethical and practical implications of AI in everyday life and is an advocate for responsible and innovative AI use.
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