Will Meta’s Open Framework Challenge Apple’s Dominance in Virtual Reality?

Conal Cram
4 Min Read

In a bold move this week, Meta has announced the release of its Meta Horizon OS, an operating system that promises to redefine the landscape of virtual and mixed reality technologies. As Meta opens its doors to a wider range of third-party developers, the tech giant aims to foster a more inclusive and versatile environment for application development. This strategic pivot directly challenges Apple’s tightly controlled ecosystem, which has historically dominated the tech industry with its closed-off approach to hardware and software integration. The Meta Horizon OS could signal a significant shift in how future technologies are developed and deployed.

Impact on Apple’s Ecosystem

Apple has long maintained a “walled garden” approach, creating an ecosystem where everything from the hardware to the software is tightly integrated and controlled. Meta’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, suggests a different path:

“In every era of computing, there are always open and closed models. In the PC era, the open model won out; you can do many more things, install mods, more diversity of hardware and software, and more. So, our goal is to make it so that the open model defines the next generation of computing again with the metaverse, glasses, and headsets.”

This open model could potentially offer developers and users more freedom and flexibility, potentially disrupting Apple’s market dominance.

Meta Horizon Store: A New Venue for Developers

Alongside the launch of Meta Horizon OS, Meta is also revamping its storefront, introducing the Meta Horizon Store. This platform is designed to be a hub for the burgeoning array of applications developed for the Quest product portfolio, fostering a creative and expansive app ecosystem. This move is expected to accelerate the adoption and development of new applications, enhancing user experiences across various domains, including gaming, productivity, and education.

Strategic Partnerships and Industry Support

Meta is not embarking on this journey alone. The company has secured partnerships with some of the leading hardware manufacturers, such as LG, Lenovo, ASUS, and Xbox, to design headsets that cater to a plethora of use cases.

“We are partnering with some of the best hardware companies out there to design new headsets that are optimized for all the different ways people use this tech,” Zuckerberg highlighted.

These collaborations are set to expand the capabilities and reach of Meta’s new operating system, potentially setting a new standard in the industry.

The Future of Open VR Platforms

The transition towards an open ecosystem is supported by advancements in foundational technologies like high-resolution passthrough, scene understanding, spatial anchors, and body tracking. With the backing of companies like Qualcomm, which is enhancing the hardware with its Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 Platform, Meta is poised to offer unprecedented experiences in the virtual realm. Cristiano Amon, President and CEO of Qualcomm Inc., emphasized:

“The convergence of physical and digital spaces is accelerating, and we see virtual reality, mixed reality, and augmented reality becoming the next computing platform.”

Looking Ahead…

As Meta strides forward with its Meta Horizon OS and a more inclusive development platform, the implications for the tech industry could be profound. By lowering the barriers to entry and fostering a more collaborative environment, Meta may well redefine the standards of virtual and mixed reality technologies. What do you think about this open approach? Could it indeed pave the way for more innovation compared to the closed ecosystems? Share your thoughts and comments below!

Photo by Jezael Melgoza on Unsplash

Share This Article
Conal is a seasoned tech industry professional and content writer for numerous tech publications. With a strong background in software engineering and digital media development, he's passionate about sharing the latest updates and insights in the tech industry, particularly in artificial intelligence and other disruptive trends. In his spare time he loves a mezze platter and a good film, and if he's not playing Fortnite or spending time with his daughter you can assume he's at the dry slopes!
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *