luxexcel lenses for ar

Meta Platforms is acquiring a European company called Luxexcel, which sells 3D-printed prescription lenses in its latest move to keep moving forward with the creation of virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR) solutions.

This recent corporate action was first reported by the Belgian newspaper De Tijd, which cited sources familiar with the deal. However, the specific terms of the transaction were not disclosed at the time

More Details About the Luxexcel Deal

Luxexcel is based in the Netherlands and was founded in 2009. The company considers itself a pioneer in the 3D-printing business as it owns several patents for the creation of prescription lenses – both traditional and smart – including a technology called the Luxexcel VisionPlatform™.

Meta’s decision to acquire the company can be considered part of its effort to make AR/VR devices more affordable to users. Moreover, prescription lenses are used by a large percentage of the population, around 60% as per Luxexcel’s estimates, which means that smart eyewear must be suitable for people who would need to correct their vision.

“We’re excited that the Luxexcel team has joined Meta, deepening the existing partnership between the two companies”, Meta Platforms (META) said in a statement from Ryan Moore, the head of the firm’s financial communications.

Luxexcel has not officially announced the acquisition on its website or social media accounts and the same goes for Meta. According to data from Crunchbase, the company’s last funding round took place in September 2018 when it received an undisclosed amount from a venture capital firm called Munich Venture Partners.

The acquisition comes at a time when the firm is under scrutiny for other corporate actions such as the purchase of Within – a VR fitness company. The United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) contested this move and it is taking things to court as it seeks to stop Meta from building a “virtual reality empire” by getting ahold of every promising early-stage business in this space.

Even though the Luxexcel transaction is more a hardware-focused purchase compared to the Within acquisition, the operation could be considered yet another move from Meta to fully own the technologies that will ultimately power the so-called metaverse.

What Can Meta Achieve via the Luxexcel Acquisition?

With the Netherland-based company’s technology, Meta may eventually be able to manufacture affordable wearables that can be used to access its metaverse platforms – i.e. Horizon Worlds – and interact with social media and other similar content.

Meta Platforms is currently investing around 20% of its overall budget into Reality Labs, the unit in charge of bringing Mark Zuckerberg’s metaverse ambitions to life, according to a blog post recently published by the head of the business unit, Andrew Bosworth.

The launch of the Meta Quest Pro – the firm’s latest VR device – was a step forward in this direction but the top executive of the social media giant acknowledged that it will take “years of progress” before the firm’s envisioned AR technologies are made available to consumers.

Interestingly, The Information recently reported that Meta has delayed its plans to create consumer-grade AR glasses. The company originally intended to launch the first version of this product in 2024. Now, the firm will only be presenting a prototype to showcase its advances in this particular technology.

Meanwhile, in mid-December, John Carmack, one of the company’s most prominent AR/VR experts, left the firm. Carmack mentioned his frustration with Meta’s corporate bureaucracy as one of the reasons for his departure and said he was “wearied of the fight”, referring to his struggles to convince top executives within the firm to go for his ideas.

Investors appear to be highly skeptical of Zuckerberg’s vision and have mostly bet against it as the value of Meta Platforms stocks has dropped by nearly 62% since the company changed its name.

During the third quarter of 2022, the Reality Labs unit produced a net operating loss of $3.67 billion. The accumulated negative balance during the first nine months of the year stood at $9.44 billion.

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