Despite intense regulatory scrutiny, Meta continues to make acquisitions in the VR and AR sector. On September 2, The Wall Street Journal reported that Mark Zuckerberg’s company had acquired Lofelt, a Berlin-based haptics startup.
The takeover happened a few months ago, according to the startup’s website, indicating that marketing of its solutions will end on July 7th. Lofelt has published the Lofelt Studio application, which allows you to create tactile sensations (using vibrations) for games on consoles or smartphones. He also sold Nice Vibrations, a plugin for the Unity engine.
leverage your own set of development tools
The startup had about 25 employees and has raised about 10 million euros since its inception in 2014. Meta has confirmed the acquisition, but the terms of the deal are unknown. Much of the interest in the operation for Meta is no doubt due to the Lofelt team joining its Reality Labs division.
This will allow him to develop his own haptics design tools, an important component of virtual reality. Sony, Meta’s rival with PlayStation VR headsets, is considered a leader in haptic technology. PlayStation 5 and future PSVR2 controllers include enhanced vibration features.
Ironically, the Meta VR headsets weren’t sold in Germany for two years due to the obligation to use a Facebook account (which just ended).
FTC negative on Meta acquisitions
This acquisition, while modest, is also notable in that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the United States antitrust authority, is currently suing Meta to prevent a takeover of Within, a company whose value lies primarily in its virtual reality fitness service. supernatural. . The agency would like to avoid creating monopolies in this market, which many consider critical, despite the fact that it is still in its infancy and has no shortage of detractors.
Julien Bergounhoux @JBergounhoux