February 3, 2023

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Meta acquires smart lens maker Luxexcel to achieve AR glasses goal

Meta is pouring more cash into the Metaverse with the acquisition of Luxexcel, a Netherlands-based company specializing in 3D printing prescription lenses for smart glasses. The news was first reported by Dutch outlet De Tijd (via TechCrunch), but Meta has since confirmed to The Verge that it has bought the company.

“We are pleased that the Luxexcel team has joined Meta and deepened the existing partnership between the two companies,” said Meta in a statement from Ryan Moore, the company’s head of financial communications. While the terms of the deal are unknown, Andrew Bosworth, head of Meta CTO and Reality Labs, revealed in a blog post earlier this month that the company is investing “roughly half” of the Metaverse-focused division’s operating costs in augmented reality (AR). while the other half build virtual reality (VR) products while continuing to bleed billions.

Luxexcel, which was founded in 2009, says it can integrate the elements needed to create an augmented reality experience in a prescription lens, such as: B. holographic film and projectors. In 2021, it partnered with WaveOptics, the company that supplies the displays for Snap’s Spectacles, to develop a waveguide-equipped lens, or the transparent display technology required to overlay virtual objects into a user’s real-world environment.

Even though Meta is working on building its first AR glasses, we may not see a finished product for some time. Bosworth says Meta’s AR glasses will “take years of progress” as they seek to make the device “slimmer, lighter, faster, and more powerful.” In June, The Verge’s Alex Heath reported that the first version of Meta’s AR glasses will only be available to developers – just like Snap’s Spectacles – while two later pairs could become available to consumers over the course of several years.