Meta Horizon OS
DeveloperMeta Platforms, Inc.
Written inJava, Kotlin (UI), C (core), C++, Rust[1] and others
OS familyUnix-like (modified Linux kernel), (Android)
Working stateCurrent
Source modelOpen source, freeware (most devices include proprietary components)
Latest releasev64[2] Edit this on Wikidata / 8 April 2024
Latest previewv66[3] Edit this on Wikidata / 17 April 2024
Marketing targetExtended reality headsets, Meta Quest headsets
Update methodOver-the-air
Package managerAPK-based
Kernel typeMonolithic (Linux kernel)
License
Support status
Supported

Meta Horizon OS, previously known informally as Meta Quest Platform or Meta Quest OS, is an extended reality operating system for the Meta Quest line of devices released by Meta Platforms. Initially developed for the embedded operating system on the Oculus Rift and Oculus Rift S, the platform has been based on the Android operating system since the release of the Oculus Go in 2018. It first supported augmented reality via grayscale camera passthrough upon the release of the Oculus Quest in 2019, and has supported color passthrough since the release of the Meta Quest Pro in 2022.

On April 22, 2024, the company announced that the platform would be rebranded as Meta Horizon OS and opened to third-party headset manufacturers, starting with Microsoft, Asus and Lenovo.[4][5]

History

The platform was first developed by Oculus VR for the embedded operating system on the Oculus Rift DK1 (Development Kit 1), which was released to developers in 2013.

Development of the software platform increased following the March 2014 acquisition of Oculus VR (now the Reality Labs division of Meta). Under Facebook, Oculus VR collaborated with Samsung to develop the Android-based Samsung Gear VR headset, with the Oculus VR division porting Oculus Home, Oculus Store, Oculus Cinema (later Video) apps and other necessary application software, and developing the Oculus Mobile SDK, tracking sensor firmware, optimized Android and the required GPU drivers for virtual reality.[6][7] The development of the software parlayed into Facebook's own plans for VR headset development. Oculus Go, the first Oculus device to use Android and the company's first standalone VR device, was released on May 1, 2018. Apps and games made for the Rift headsets were backwards-compatible with the Oculus Quest.

On April 22, 2024, the company announced that the platform would be rebranded as Meta Horizon OS and opened to third-party headset manufacturers, starting with Microsoft, Asus and Lenovo. In the same announcement, the Meta Quest Store was renamed as the Meta Horizon Store, the Meta Quest mobile companion app renamed as the Horizon mobile app, and a new spatial app framework was announced to assist mobile developers in porting their software to, or programming original apps for, Horizon OS.[8] Despite licensing the operating system to third-party manufacturers for niche markets such as gaming, fitness and productivity, Meta is set to continue manufacturing their Quest hardware for its current generalized market.

Community use

In addition, the entire source for the Rift DK1 was released to the public in September 2014, including the firmware, schematics, and mechanicals for the device. The firmware is released under a simplified BSD license, while the schematics and mechanicals are released under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.[9]

In October 2021, Facebook released an update to the Oculus Go which can be sideloaded to unlock "full root access" to the device hardware. This update, which is irreversible and blocks further OTA updates, is supposed to keep devices operational for users even after official Facebook cloud infrastructure for the device goes offline.[10]

Features

Supported software

See also: List of Meta Quest games

The primary means of installing software on Quest devices is through the Meta Quest Store. Notable non-game apps available on the platform include ESPN, Facebook Watch, YouTube VR, Fandango, Firefox Reality, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video VR, Pluto TV, Red Bull TV, Sling TV and Within. Popular VR-capable social apps include Horizon Worlds, VRChat and Roblox.

The Oculus Quest and subsequent devices support "Meta Quest Link" (formerly known as "Oculus Link"), an OpenVR and OpenXR runtime that allows for PC VR games to be displayed on supported headsets connected via USB. In April 2021, Oculus released "Air Link," an alternative mode that uses WiFi for connectivity instead of USB. SteamVR, another OpenVR and OpenXR runtime, also supports several Quest headsets.[11]

The Oculus Go was released with Oculus Gallery, Oculus Video, Oculus TV, Oculus Venues and Oculus Rooms preinstalled. Rooms was discontinued on October 25, 2019.[12] Gradually, support for Oculus Go-compatible apps was discontinued.

Release history

Main article: Meta Horizon OS version history

References

  1. ^ https://security.googleblog.com/2022/12/memory-safe-languages-in-android-13.html
  2. ^ "Meta Quest release notes | Meta Store". Retrieved 25 April 2024.
  3. ^ "PTC v65 Release Thread - Meta Community Forums - 1185347". 17 April 2024. Retrieved 25 April 2024.
  4. ^ "Introducing Our Open Mixed Reality Ecosystem". Meta. 2024-04-22. Retrieved 2024-04-22.
  5. ^ "A New Era for Mixed Reality | Meta Quest Blog". www.meta.com. Retrieved 2024-04-23.
  6. ^ Marlett, David (September 2015). "The Virtual Reality of John Carmack". D Magazine. D Magazine Partners, Inc. Retrieved 28 February 2020.
  7. ^ "Introducing the Samsung Gear VR Innovator Edition". Oculus.com. 3 September 2014. Retrieved 5 September 2019.
  8. ^ "Your Request Couldn't be Processed". Meta for Developers. Retrieved 2024-04-23.
  9. ^ "OculusVR/RiftDK1". github.com. Retrieved 29 September 2014.
  10. ^ Orland, Kyle (2021-10-22). "John Carmack pushes out unlocked OS for defunct Oculus Go headset". Ars Technica. Retrieved 2021-10-25.
  11. ^ "How to play Steam games on Meta Quest 3". 2023-12-22. Retrieved 2024-04-23.
  12. ^ "Facebook to create VR world called Horizon". 2019-09-27. Retrieved 2024-02-10.