As reported by Janko Roettgers, Meta acquired a Colorado-based research and development startup called Gary Sharp Innovations last year in June.
Roettgers discovered the acquisition through documents filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Meta confirmed the acquisition to Roettgers, stating that “Gary Sharp Innovations is helping [Meta] develop better viewing optics for [its] AR and VR devices.”
Gary Sharp, the startup’s co-founder, previously served as CTO of RealD, the company that pioneered and licensed 3D cinema technology. LinkedIn posts indicate that at least some of Gary Sharp Innovations’ staff were brought over to Meta in the acquisition.
The acquisition also grants Meta all of Gary Sharp Innovations’ patents and patent applications, some of which relate to VR headsets and optics. Roettgers pointed out one such filing for a pancake lens that can minimize stray light by adding additional layers to the lens.
Meta shipped Quest Pro, which uses pancake lenses, in October last year, a few months after acquiring the startup. It’s unclear whether the startup’s associated technologies were used in the production of Quest Pro, but it’s likely to come in handy for Meta’s future headsets which will seemingly adopt pancake lenses akin to those in Quest Pro.