Meta CEO Meron Gribetz unveiled his company’s newest Augmented Reality (AR) headset to the world during TEDx 2016. With its 2560 x 1440 high-dpi display and its near 90-degree field of view, Meta 2’s see-through headset is poised to take over how we interact with digital content. Backed by $23 million in Series A funding, Meta has created a development kit that focuses on enterprise solutions.
Using a variety of sensors and a high-def camera, Meta 2 makes positional tracking possible to see, grab and move holograms just like physical objects. In other words, Meta’s advanced sensor technology maps not only your hands but also the environment they’re manipulating. Similar to the scene in the movie Minority Report where Tom Cruise uses hand gestures to flip through hologram images of criminal activity yet to take place, Meta technology allows the user to “use natural hand gestures, just as you would do in the real world, to touch, grab and move digital objects intuitively.”
Meta’s trademarked Neural Path of Least Resistance, according to the company’s website, is a “new zero-learning-curve approach to computing.” Gribetz explains the approach as “natural machines that use the principles of neuroscience to extend to our senses versus going against them.” Meta’s change from a limited Field of View (FoV) in its first model (25 -35 degrees) to a more robust FoV in Meta 2 – has proven to be a wise one – especially since the field of Augmented Reality relies heavily on FoV. According to TechCrunch, “low FOV means that it looks like there’s a little translucent window into the virtual world that you have to fit floating 3D content into.”
With the hope of someday redesigning the workplace of the future and people exchanging their smartphones in favor of AR headsets, Meta created an open SDK interface called Unity. By giving access to their platform, Meta is passing the creative torch to developers interested in creating holographic apps. The SDK, according to Meta, “includes SLAM, hands interaction tracking, occlusion, collaboration, neuro-interface design guidelines, example code, apps, documentation, and support.” This is like a buffet table for AR developers and will most likely be instrumental in moving Meta’s technology to greater heights.
With improvements to FoV, hand interactions, positional tracking, and the SDK, Meta 2 is strategically positioned to penetrate an augmented reality market estimated to reach $90 billion in 2020. Talking about the future of AR devices at TEDx 2016, Gribetz said, “In about five years, these are all going to look like strips of glass on our eyes that project holograms and just like that we don’t care so much about which phone we buy in terms of the hardware, we buy it for the operating.”
Designed specifically as an enterprise-only solution, Meta 2 is capable of interacting with a wide range of hologram images whether it’s a digital computer keyboard or opening a hyperlink from a virtual web browser. Using Meta 2’s see-through glasses, users are able to stay visibly connected to people and at the same time – immerse oneself in the AR world. This type of technology allows you to grab virtual items by thrusting an open hand into a virtual object by closing your hand and making a fist, moving the object to the desired location. Now imagine opening up your windows desktop and interacting with your folders, files, and docs with Meta 2’s AR technology.