Meta announced a new developer accelerator aimed at kickstarting ‘Lifestyle’ apps for Quest which make use of mixed reality, AI and hand-tracking.

Meta says in the announcement selected participants of its new ‘Meta Quest Lifestyle App Accelerator’ can apply for seed-stage grant funding, as well as product resources and mentoring from Meta and participating VC partners, which include a16z, Anorak Ventures, BITKRAFT Ventures, Boost VC, and Lightspeed.

“The program focuses on fun, delightful consumer experiences with novel, engaging, and retentive mechanics that leverage the unique capabilities of Meta Quest in emerging lifestyle categories such as Fashion, Beauty, Home Design, Shopping, Cooking, DIY, Arts & Crafts, and more,” the company says.

One such example cited by Meta is Zac Reid’s PianoVision, which uses mixed reality to teach users how to play piano.

Aimed at small teams, the six-month program will include three paid milestones to help teams prototype their concepts, as well as up to three Quest 3 dev kits for teams in supported countries. Notably, selected participants will retain full ownership of their IP, code, assets, design, and distribution rights, Meta says.

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“We’re looking for founders who want to build companies dedicated to MR apps in Lifestyle categories that drive engagement with Meta Quest users. Whether your company has a long track record of publishing apps or is just getting off the ground, our Meta Quest Lifestyle App Accelerator could be a great fit if you’re working on a brand-new Meta Quest lifestyle app that is big enough to be a standalone business.”

Who shouldn’t apply: companies at Series B or later, and studios marketing activations, B2B apps targeting schools or professionals, video games, media consumption, fitness & wellness, or sports. Interested teams should check out the full eligibility requirements and developer FAQ first to make sure they qualify.

Submissions are now open, with the cut-off date scheduled for October 15th, 2024. Meta will select participating teams on December 31st, 2024, with the program officially running from December 2024 to May 2025.

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Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 4,000 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • Jeremy Deats

    To combine AI with Mixed Reality requires the ability to use computer vision, where the AI model classifies the content it is able to see from the live feed. Meta does not allow access to the live feed, making use of most practical applications of AI with MR impossible…

    • ViRGiN

      AI vision isn't as cool as you make it sound – what are you going to use it for, when Quest is pretty much a use at home device?
      Oh, what is this plant?
      What's the color of the sofa?
      This might be coming from Meta directly; tell me 3 potential ideas that AI camera vision on Quest is a great idea for third party developers.
      The other issue is also the quality of image from cameras.

    • Christian Schildwaechter

      Devs don't get camera access for CV/AR, but MR is a different beast. Meta provides hooks into the Horizon OS room model for placing virtual objects/functions in the proper places, even if you don't know what those actually are. This abstract world representation is enough for some AI applications, though most interesting ideas would indeed require AR/real world image access.

      There are privacy issues with AR/camera access, which others solve by limiting it to enterprise use, asking for user permission or at least offering QR/fiducial marker recognition. But esp. Quest 2 is rather low powered, the integrated DSP occupied with Meta's tracking, making compute expensive CV for AR not feasible. My impression is that Meta coined the term MR mostly to counter true AR HMDs, (correctly) expecting people would confuse the two concepts.

      The "lifestyle app" fund looks like a somewhat forced attempt to make Quest attractive beyond VR gaming. The currently "hip" XR template is AVP with hand/eye tracking UI, always-on passthrough, enterprise-only camera access, also running iPad apps. Quest has no eye tracking, not enough power for AR, no Playstore access and not enough draw for Android ports users seek. So they push what they have, the obligatory AI with hand tracking and MR for not-games from small devs lured by money.

      • VrSLut

        Funny, lured by money. Dirty vulture money. They want to pump'n dump some hot apps on a longshot that they are going to be famous killer apps someday. How nasty!

  • Arno van Wingerde

    An IKEA app showing how the "ÖKENSAND" light looks in your living room, would be one of those low-hanging fruits…