Virtual reality has been all the rage in the news lately, but what about augmented reality? Fans of the technology are in luck, as AR startup Meta recently unveiled the latest iteration of its augmented-reality visor: the Meta 2. Priced at $949, the development kit version of the device is now available for preorder with a nebulous ship date for sometime in Q3 2016.
Similar to Microsoft's HoloLens, Meta 2 delivers AR projections onto real-world environments through its transparent visor. The device will also offer a sensor for hand interaction, allowing you to touch or pick up a digital object just like you would a physical one. The headset will essentially transform your real world space into a digital one with realistic projections.
In its current form, the Meta 2 has a 2560 x 1440 resolution with a 90-degree diagonal field of view (FOV), a four-speaker near-ear audio system, a 720p front camera and a sensor array for positional tracking and hand motions. The company is touting its larger FOV as compared to HoloLens, which has received a number of complaints about its relatively narrow offerings. However, while HoloLens is designed to be a self-contained system, Meta 2 relies on a PC connection, leaving you tethered to your desktop or laptop.
Meta CEO Meron Gribetz outlined his vision during his recent TED Talk, stating, “[w]e are creating an experience that merges the art of user interface design with the science of the brain, creating ‘natural machines’ that feel like extensions of ourselves rather than the other way around.
"For example," he continued, "our natural hand motion doesn’t rely on clicks or buttons, thereby maintaining the flow and connecting people to each other and the moment.”
It's heady stuff, but if the Meta 2 delivers what the company promises, it could have a major impact across everything from medicine to education to gaming.