Two of China’s biggest technology companies, Tencent and Lenovo, are expanding further into the field of augmented reality (AR) with the announcement that they’re investing in Silicon Valley startup, Meta. Bloomberg has reported that Tencent Holdings Ltd and Lenovo Group Ltd have added to a $50 million round of funding for Meta’s AR headset, joining companies such as Horizon Ventures Ltd, Banyan Capital, and Comcast Ventures.
Founded in 2012, Meta has created a headset that is part-AR and part-virtual reality (VR) which allows users to interact with 3D virtual objects using their hands. This is the second round of funding for Meta after it received $23 million last year and it plans to use the money to continue to develop its Meta 2 technology and create a more advanced version of its headset that won’t require it to be tethered to a PC.
Meta’s CEO Meron Gribetz is certain that China is going to be a fast-growing market for AR technology: “There’s a huge aptitude and appetite for our technologies in Asia, and we’re playing ahead, trying to make it a more central part of our strategy.”
We’ve already seen evidence of Lenovo’s interest in AR fairly recently when it revealed its phone that supported Google’s Tango technology. Bloomberg reports Gribetz as saying that he expects AR headsets will begin to replace smartphones and PCs within the next five years and with so many large tech corporations pouring funding into the development of the technology in an attempt to secure their place in the market, it’s no surprise he sees this as a possibility.
Keep reading VRFocus for more news on Meta and AR.