Meta Opens Quest OS to Other VR Headset Makers

Why Trust Techopedia
Key Takeaways

  • Meta has opened up the platform for its Quest headsets to other manufacturers.
  • Meta Horizon OS includes the social layer, store, and key technologies.
  • ASUS, Lenovo, and Microsoft have all made hardware plans or partnerships.

Meta is opening access to its Quest headset platform by releasing Horizon OS.

Developers of mixed and virtual reality headsets can now use Meta Horizon OS to power their own hardware. It includes the “full stack” of technologies powering the Quest line, such as body and positional tracking.

Horizon OS also includes Meta’s social framework (including avatars and friend groups) and access to the Quest Store, now rebranded as the Horizon Store. Third-party devices will use the same mobile software, now called the Meta Horizon app.

Meta already has a few partners lined up for Horizon OS-based products. ASUS plans to use the software for a “performance gaming headset,” Meta said. Lenovo, meanwhile, expects to build mixed reality headsets for “productivity, learning, and entertainment.” Microsoft isn’t building a completely unique headset of its, own, but is cooperating with Meta on a “limited-edition” Quest headset that takes cues from the Xbox.

The new wearables are likely to use some form of Qualcomm chipset. The Meta Quest 3 uses the Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2.

Meta added that Horizon OS would come alongside easier ways to publish apps. App Lab developers will soon get a dedicated Horizon Store section, the company said. There will also be a new framework for building mixed reality apps. Users already aren’t tied to an official app shop, Meta said, and the company even encouraged Google to bring the Play Store to Horizon devices.

The launch of Meta Horizon OS isn’t surprising. Meta currently dominates the mixed reality headset space with 72% market share in the fourth quarter, according to Counterpoint Research. However, it’s facing new competition from the Apple Vision Pro (plus likely lower-end models) as well as existing rivals like Sony and Pico. The expanded software access theoretically keeps Meta on top by creating an ecosystem where its platform becomes the industry standard.