Meta (formerly Facebook) has accquired the Netherland-based smart eye-wear company Luxexcel. As reported by the TechCrunch, the eyewear company has joined Meta, deepening the existing partnership between the two companies.
"The terms of the deal, which was first reported in the Belgian paper De Tijd, have not been disclosed," TechCrunch added.
It is rumoured that the duo previously partnered on Meta's Project Aria, a research device that is worn like regular glasses. Meta uses the device to build software and hardware for future Augmented Reality (AR) devices.
Founded in 2009, Luxexcel is based in the Netherlands and uses 3D printing to make prescription lenses for glasses. Recently, the company has focused its efforts on smart lenses, which can be printed with integrated technology like LCD displays and holographic film.
Meta aims to leverage the Luxexcel technology to produce prescription AR glasses which could help the company to target users who wear glasses, while also benefitting from its expertise in optics.
In 2021, Meta collaborated with with Essilor Luxottica to launch Ray Ban branded smart eyeglasses called Ray Ban Stories. The smart glasses allowed users take photos and videos, or make hands-free, voice-controlled calls using Meta platforms like WhatsApp and Facebook.
Recently, Meta faced antitrust scrutiny over its acquisition of Virtual Reality (VR) fitness developers Within Unlimited. The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filled a lawsuit against Meta to stop the acquisition. The FTC called Meta a "global technology behemoth" and said the acquisition would harm competition in the VR fitness market.
In the past, Google attempted to make smart glasses and headsets a reality by introducing Google Glass in 2013. It was a wearable, voice- and motion-controlled Android device that resembles a pair of eyeglasses and displays information directly in the user's field of vision. The company claimed it to be a runaway hit however it failed and was sold for scrap.
In 2019, the Google released the second version of its Enterprise Edition model. The pair of glasses claimed to be a risk-free means of increasing productivity in the workplace, as the screen inside the right lens allows employees to multitask without the need of turning to another device. However, it's no longer commercially available as a retail product.