With its recent purchase of VR fitness startup Within, tech behemoth Meta is under the microscope for antitrust violations. It’s official: Dutch smart glasses maker Luxexcel is being acquired by Meta. Despite the claim in the Belgian newspaper De Tijd, no details of the sale have been made public.
Luxexcel was established in 2009 and is a leader in the 3D printing of prescription lenses for eyewear. The business has lately shifted its attention to “smart lenses,” or glasses that can be manufactured with integrated technology such as LCD screens or holographic material.
A representative from Meta stated, “We are thrilled that the Luxexcel team has joined Meta, further strengthening the existing cooperation between the two firms.” Rumor has it that Meta and Luxexcel collaborated on Project Aria, the latter’s augmented reality (AR) research programme.
Meta introduced the Ray-Ban Stories smart glasses in September2021. These glasses allow users to shoot photographs and videos, as well as make calls using Meta services like WhatsApp and Facebook without using their hands. After acquiring Luxexcel, Meta is expected to use the acquired company’s technology to create prescription augmented reality glasses, a product that has been anticipated for a long time as a result of Meta’s multibillion-dollar investment into its Reality Labs. A story from the summer suggested that Meta was delaying its 2024 deadline for consumer-grade augmented reality glasses. At the time, Meta said nothing in response to the rumours.
Meta’s corporate approach in developing its augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) products has been to acquire smaller startups developing leading technology in these areas. In fact, even Meta’s flagship headset, the Quest, originated with the company’s 2014 purchase of Oculus. After the FTC tried to prevent Meta from acquiring Within, there is a chance that the acquisition of Luxexcel would also attract antitrust concerns.
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