Meta Platforms is set to ink a massive partnership with augmented reality (AR) firm Magic Leap, the Financial Times reported on Sunday. The new deal aims to share intellectual property licencing and contract manufacturing to create AR-based solutions.
Citing people familiar with the matter, the report comes after nearly two turbulent years of developing the spatial communications platform.
Meta could potentially explore how to leverage Magic Leap’s trendsetting AR technologies, including software and hardware. Despite this, the sources have said it is uncertain if it will lead to a specific project.
Waveguides, Partnerships Are the Way Forward
According to the two former workers in the report, Magic Leap’s “biggest asset” was its high-spec waveguide components. These technologies transmit images from processors to the headset’s lenses.
The report added that Meta declined to comment and that Magic Leap did not confirm the partnership.
Despite this, the latter said that its partnerships with other firms had become a “significant line of business and growing opportunity” for the company.
Speaking to the Financial Times, Magic Leap cited the “complexities” in developing and manufacturing AR technologies and optics as reasons for its partnerships.
The spokesperson continued: “[We] have entered into several non-exclusive IP licensing and manufacturing partnerships with companies looking to enter the AR market or expand their current position.”
Meta and Magic Leap: Partners in Real-Time?
The news comes as the Menlo Park-based firm continues seeking inroads for its metaverse ambitions. In early March, the tech giant entered talks with China’s Tencent Holdings to sell its VR headsets across the mainland.
Ongoing negotiations could potentially reopen Chinese markets for the metaverse company. Meta could also hope to ink strategic partnerships and enter China’s massive consumer market to sell its Quest headsets.
Magic Leap recently struck a major partnership with augmented reality firm ARWay. Both companies aimed to boost interoperability for real-time 3D assets in the deal and expand compatibility with the Magic Leap 2 headset.
Both firms aim to increase AR hardware and platform adoption rates across industry verticals by leveraging Magic Leap’s next-generation technologies. The former has also collaborated with Microsoft to port its solution on the HoloLens 2, one of the enterprise’s most widely-used mixed reality (MR) devices.
Magic Leap-NVIDIA Collaboration
Additionally, the Plantation, Florida-based enterprise collaborated with tech giant NVIDIA to stream 3D digital content to its headsets. Companies streaming immersive and full-scale digital twins can tap NVIDIA’s Omniverse platform on the Magic Leap 2.
This massively increases processing times, improves visual fidelity, and integrates modelling programmes on the headset’s user interface (UI). The streaming solution also integrates NVIDIA’s RTX graphics processing units (GPUs) to support 3D modelling and visualisations.
Ray tracing, Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS), Magic Leap’s Dynamic Dimming, and others will enhance functionality on the Omniverse platform. It will also integrate design platforms such as Autodesk Maya, leading to vastly improved, streamlined workflows for professionals.
Boosting partnerships across the XR industry could potentially define and standardise technologies for the Metaverse and XR-related solutions. Many companies, including NVIDIA and Siemens, Qualcomm, General Electric, Epic Games, Unity, and others have launched similar initiatives.