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Meta Acquires Lofelt to Support Virtual Reality Ambitions

  • Meta acquired Berlin-based startup Lofelt
  • The company also partnered with Qualcomm to create custom chipsets for VR headsets and other products
  • According to GlobalData, the global market value of VR reached $6.9 billion in 2021

The parent company of Facebook, Meta Platform Inc, acquired a Berlin-based startup, Lofelt. The technology of the German company seeks to simulate the illusion of touch in virtual reality. The acquisition indicates how Meta is accelerating its efforts in the metaverse, virtual spaces, where people could interact, work and play. According to GlobalData, the number of M&A deals in the VR sector increased from 12 in 2015 to 61 in 2020. However, the number of M&A deals slowed down in 2021.

About Lofelt

Lofelt, a Berlin-based startup, specializes in haptic technology. Haptic technology is a critical building block of the metaverse and uses forces or vibrations in a hardware device such as a smartphone or gaming console controller to simulate the sensation of touch in a virtual environment. With this acquisition, Meta could use Lofelt’s haptic technology to build products that give users a more realistic illusion of being in the metaverse. The tech giant is expected to use Lofelt’s expertise to develop hardware and software for VR controllers, EMG wristbands, and haptic gloves.

Collaboration Between Meta and Qualcomm

Meta partnered with Qualcomm to create custom chipsets for VR headsets and other products. According to the agreement, the engineering and product teams of both companies will collaborate to manufacture the chipsets using Qualcomm’s extended reality (XR) Snapdragon technology. The partnership demonstrates Meta’s dependence on Qualcomm’s technology even as it works on creating its own custom silicon for its augmented, mixed, and VR devices.

Global Virtual Reality Market Overview

VR headsets became one of the fastest growing technologies in recent years. The idea of generating a unique artificial environment in which users could interact is highly attractive to consumers and has the potential to become a widely used technology. VR continues to find new applications beyond entertainment in various industries, which increase the market value of the technology as new ways to apply VR are explored. The global VR market registered prolific growth in recent years. According to GlobalData, the global market value of VR was $6.9 billion in 2021, which increased around 50% over that in 2020, and is expected to reach $9.4 billion by 2022.

 



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