Meta is under antitrust investigation for its acquisition of VR fitness developers. The tech titan is making another acquisition from within. Meta confirmed that it is acquiring Luxexcel, an eyewear firm based in the Netherlands. The deal’s terms, first reported in the Belgian newspaper De Tijd, have not been disclosed.
Luxexcel was founded in 2009 and uses 3D printing to create prescription lenses for glasses. Recently, the company’s efforts have been focused on smart lenses, which can be printed with integrated technology such as LCD displays and holographic film.
“We’re excited that the Luxexcel team has joined Meta, deepening the two companies’ existing partnership,” a Meta spokesperson. Meta and Luxexcel have previously collaborated on Project Aria, the company’s augmented reality (AR) research initiative.
Meta unveiled the Ray-Ban Stories in September 2021, a pair of smart glasses that can take photos and videos as well as make hands-free, voice-controlled calls via Meta platforms such as WhatsApp and Facebook. By acquiring Luxexcel, Meta will most likely use the company’s technology to manufacture prescription AR glasses, a product that has long been expected to result from Meta’s billions of dollars in investment in its Reality Labs.
However, a report published this summer stated that Meta was reducing its plans for consumer-grade AR glasses, which were initially slated for 2024. Meta did not comment on these rumors at the time.
When developing its AR and VR products, Meta’s corporate strategy has been to acquire smaller companies for developing cutting-edge technology. Even Meta’s flagship headset, the Quest, is a result of its 2014 acquisition of Oculus. Given the FTC’s attempts to stop Meta’s purchase of Within, the purchase of Luxexcel may be scrutinized in the same way.