The acquisition will presumably enable Meta to further strengthen the development of its augmented reality glasses.
Meta is acquiring Luxexcel, the company known for developing and patenting the methodology to 3D print lenses.
The news was first reported in late December by the Belgian newspaper De Tijd. The terms of the deal have not been disclosed, although De Tij suggests that "Meta would have paid a hefty price." Meta spokesperson later confirmed the acquisition to UploadVR saying that Meta is "excited that the Luxexcel team has joined Meta, deepening the existing partnership between the two companies."
Luxexcel was founded in 2009 and is best known for 3D printing to make prescription lenses for glasses. Currently, the Belgian-Dutch company focuses on developing smart lenses which can be printed with integrated technology like LCD displays and AR capabilities.
It is believed that Meta's move to purchase the 3D smart lenses developer should further strengthen the development of its augmented reality glasses.
The acquisition of Luxexcel is the latest move in Meta's ongoing effort to acquire smaller companies that are creating top technology in the field. Most recently, the company purchased Resident Evil 4 VR developer Armature and Marvel's Iron Man VR developer Camouflaj.
Last year, Meta also revealed that it was acquiring Within, the developer of Beat Saber-style workout app Supernatural. However, the acquisition is not going as smoothly as probably planned – in July 2022, the Federal Trade Commission sued Meta in an attempt to block the deal arguing that the move would "substantially lessen competition."
While Meta initially expected the deal to close before the end of 2022, it became known in December that the FTC's Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction, which forced Meta to keep this deal open until December 31, 2022, was extended to January 31, 2023.
Taking into account the FTC’s attempts to block the acquisition of Within, there is a possibility that Meta's purchase of Luxexcel could spark the same scrutiny.
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