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Meta Acquires Optics Startup Gary Sharp Innovations

The company says the Gary Sharp Innovations team will help it develop better optics for future generations of its AR/VR headsets.

Despite incurring billions of dollars in losses and scrutiny over its proposed acquisition of Supernatural developer Within, Meta is apparently sticking to its metaverse plans and continuing its string of acquisitions by purchasing optics startup Gary Sharp Innovations.

As per Lowpass, a newsletter from the former Protocol tech reporter Janko Roettgers, documents filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office reveal that the acquisition took place as early as June 2022.

In response to Roettgers' inquiry, Meta representatives confirmed the deal, indicating that the Gary Sharp Innovations team will help develop better optics for future generations of the company's AR/VR headsets.

Roettgers also reported that as part of the acquisition, Meta had taken on several patents and patent applications including some that describe methods for enhancing the optics of VR headsets. In addition, the company is said to have brought on some of the startup's staff.

The financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed, however, it is believed to be a relatively small amount, considering that Gary Sharp Innovations is primarily an R&D group of enthusiasts that started operations in 2017.

Earlier this year, Meta revealed its plans to acquire the developer of 3D smart lenses Luxexcel, and prior to this, the company purchased Resident Evil 4 VR developer Armature and Marvel's Iron Man VR developer Camouflaj.

Last year, Meta announced that it was acquiring Within, the developer of a Beat Saber-style workout app Supernatural. However, the acquisition has not progressed smoothly. In July 2022, the Federal Trade Commission filed a lawsuit against the company with the aim of blocking the deal, arguing that the acquisition would "significantly reduce competition."

Initially, Meta had expected the deal to be completed before the end of 2022, however, in December 2022 it became known that the FTC's Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction, which required Meta to keep the deal open until December 31, 2022, had been extended to January 31, 2023.

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