December 24, 2013
Silicon Valley startup Meta is aiming to take on Google Glass with its augmented reality computing platform. The company has developed a wearable computing device in the form of aviator shades that it claims offers 15 times the screen area of Glass. Founder Meron Gribetz envisions Meta as the first pair of smart glasses that sport a more fashionable look with greater computing capabilities. Meta Pro, the first consumer set of specs, is due for shipment in June.
The two bedrock technologies that set Meta apart from others in the augmented reality computing space are its surface tracking and hand tracking algorithms. The algorithms are based upon the pioneering work of Steve Mann, Meta’s chief scientist, and are essential to enabling quality holographic computing constructs. Building on SoftKinetic’s technology, Meta glasses can identify user hands in any orientation and begin tracking them with almost zero wait time.
“Reducing the latency is essential to providing the natural user experience it desires,” according to Meta. “It allows users to simply don the glasses and start interacting with Meta’s digital constructs without them needing to calibrate the system first.”
The Meta Pro with its advanced hardware ($2,985) costs almost five times as much as the Meta.01 dev units ($667). The Meta.01 can only track surfaces within a range of about one meter due to its singular depth sensor, while Pro will pack dual RGB cameras that will eliminate that range limitation.
An Intel Core i5 CPU, 4GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, 802.11n Wi-Fi, 3D stereoscopic display with 40-degree field of view, and Bluetooth 4.0 powered by a 32WHr battery pitches the Pro to be a powerful wearable computer in the making. According to Meta, more than 500 AR apps are already in the Meta Store.