Updated March 1st, 2024 at 22:05 IST

Meta turns down Google's proposal for virtual reality collaboration

Such a partnership could impede Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg's plan to "own the next computational platform for AR, VR and mixed reality,” as per the report.

Reported by: Business Desk
Virtual reality glasses are being used to induce vision and sensory aid to the visually impaired | Image:Pexels
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Meta Platforms has decided not to partner with search engine Google parent Alphabet for using Google's Android XR platform for its virtual and mixed-reality Quest headsets, as per a report by The Information on Friday.

Google had proposed for Mark Zuckerberg-owned Meta to collaborate with its new software platform, which is being developed for virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed-reality headsets, as per a source cited in the report who is involved in these talks.

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A partnership of this nature would derail ambitions for Facebook parent Meta’s top boss Mark Zuckerberg, who wants to "own the next computational platform for AR, VR and mixed reality," the report stated.

Meta is in talks with hardware companies such as South Korea's LG Electronics for building new VR devices using Quest's software, as per the report, which quotes anonymous employees from Meta. 

Meta and LG Electronics did not issue a statement or respond to a request by Reuters for comment. Alphabet refused to remark on the development.

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Meta's Quest devices currently run on an open-source version of Google's Android operating system, the report said.

Zuckerberg in October 2021 changed the name of Facebook to Meta, with the social media platforms Instagram and WhatsApp also coming under the umbrella of the parent brand.

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“Right now, our brand is so tightly linked to one product that it can’t possibly represent everything that we’re doing today, let alone in the future. Over time, I hope that we are seen as a metaverse company, and I want to anchor our work and identity on what we’re building toward,” Zuckerberg said at the company’s annual Connect conference.

Even as Zuckerberg’s narrative in 2021 was focused on creating a completely digital identity for a world that will move to virtual spaces, his present stance is of more focus towards combining the physical world and the digital world.

Google was the first to venture into augmented reality with the Google Glass in 2012, which it discontinued in 2015 but has now brought it back. 

It also introduced Google Cardboard in 2014 to make virtual reality experiences affordable, by placing phones and lenses to simulate a VR effect. It introduced a more refined version - Google Daydream in 2016, but discontinued smartphone-based VR headsets by 2021.

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Apple has forayed into the category, releasing its mixed reality headset Vision Pro last month. Meta has also introduced Oculus, now known as Meta Quest for VR and other accessories.

Google had announced partnerships with Samsung and Qualcomm for an XR headset, but after key leaders departed the team it has pivoted to a software licensing model similar to Android.

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Published March 1st, 2024 at 22:05 IST