Meta reportedly wants to license Magic Leap’s AR technology

Meta could turn to Magic Leap for help to stay ahead of Apple and other new entrants in the soon-to-be crowded AR space. According to the Financial Times, the two companies are in talks to sign a multi-year IP licensing and manufacturing pact. Details on the negotiations are few, but according to the outlet’s sources, a potential partnership is not expected to produce a jointly developed headset. Instead, a deal could see Magic Leap provide Meta with access to some of its optical tech. The partnership could also see the startup assist with manufacturing Meta devices, thereby allowing the tech giant to produce more of its VR headsets domestically at a time when there’s more pressure for US companies to lessen their dependence on China.

Meta did not immediately respond to Engadget’s comment request. Magic Leap told the Financial Times partnerships were becoming a “significant line of business and growing opportunity for Magic Leap.” Additionally, in a blog post titled “What’s Next for Magic Leap,” CEO Peggy Johnson said late last year the company had “received an incredible amount of interest from across the industry to license our IP and utilize our patented manufacturing process to produce optics for others seeking to launch their own mixed-reality technology.”

The timing of the report is notable for a couple of reasons. Meta is under pressure from investors to show something for all the money it has spent pursuing CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s vision for the future of computing. The company does not expect to make a profit from all of its metaverse projects for another few years. At the same time, it is burning about $10 billion annually on its Reality Labs division. Separately, Apple is widely expected to enter the AR headset market next month when the company holds its WWDC developer conference.

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