In a move set to potentially revolutionise the landscape of mixed-reality technology, Meta, formerly Facebook, is gearing up to license its Horizon operating system for use in a variety of headsets beyond its own Quest lineup. With this decision, the company aims to replicate the widespread adoption seen with Windows-powered PCs and Android smartphones.

The announcement signals a significant departure from Meta’s previous approach, as it opens the door for hardware partners like Lenovo, Asus, and Microsoft to integrate Meta’s operating system into their own mixed-reality headsets. This strategic shift mirrors the successful models employed by tech giants like Microsoft and Google, who have thrived by collaborating with multiple hardware manufacturers.

By adopting a licensing model akin to Google’s Android, Meta is embracing an open-source approach to virtual reality (VR) operating systems. This move not only democratises access to VR technology but also fosters innovation and competition among hardware makers.

Industry analysts predict that Meta’s decision could lead to a surge in the availability and diversity of mixed-reality headsets in the market. Consumers may soon find themselves faced with a plethora of options similar to selecting a Windows PC or an Android smartphone.

The implications of Meta’s strategy extend beyond mere hardware sales. By cultivating an ecosystem of third-party manufacturers, Meta aims to establish Horizon as the de facto standard for mixed-reality experiences. This could potentially solidify the company’s position as a dominant player in the burgeoning VR market.

While the full impact of Meta’s licensing initiative remains to be seen, it represents a bold step towards democratizing access to mixed-reality technology. With Meta’s Horizon operating system poised to power a new generation of VR headsets, the future of immersive computing looks more diverse and accessible than ever before.