While lawmakers are working on building an antitrust case against Facebook for its earlier acquisitions of platforms like Instagram, Facebook in the present day is rapidly scooping up many smaller companies in a bid to cement its dominance in a new underdeveloped world of VR.
Meta (previously Facebook), in an effort to become relevant in the fitness industry, has acquired Within, the company behind subscription-based fitness app Supernatural. The app was already available on Oculus Quest, which might soon be called Meta Quest.
Supernatural was one of the first subscription fitness apps on Oculus Quest, a virtual reality headset made by Oculus, which is owned by Facebook (Meta). The VR fitness app provides instructions to users using avatars and motion-tracked workout movements, including boxing.
Supernatural lets users connect their Apple Watches, allowing them to track heart rate in real-time. The support for smartwatches during VR-based workouts might just be the thing that separates Facebook’s Oculus Quest from the competition in the fitness sector. The company already has a similar app Oculus Move, but it does not support smartwatches.
“Our partnership with Meta means we will have more resources to expand and bring you even more music, more creative ways to work out, more features and more social experiences for VR,” Within CEO Chris Milk said in a statement Friday.
“Together we will also explore ways we can enhance future hardware to support VR fitness apps, encouraging other developers to bring new fitness experiences to VR. We believe fitness will be a massive success in VR where multiple third-party fitness apps can succeed,” Meta’s VP of Play Jason Rubin said in a statement.
Facebook’s aggressive move of scooping up small players (in what some would say is a big to nip upcoming competition in the bud) is one that is largely overlooked by lawmakers who say they’re interested in antitrust action, and yet is an increasingly common phenomenon.
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