|Released||Developers: July 2014
|Operating system||Windows (Unity 3D)|
|Weight||100 g (2nd prototype)|
|Controls||gestural, inertial, positional tracking|
Meta 1 is composed of stereoscopic glasses with holographic see-through displays with cameras mounted on top. Meta uses SoftKinetic motion sensor and Epson’s optics, i.e. BT-100 hardware for Meta 1 Developer Kit. These augmented reality, 3D glasses present holograms in the physical space surrounding the wearer, and s/he can interact with them with hand gestures as with physical objects. Developers are working on a variety of apps including web browsing, medical training (virtual patient), holographic assistants, and 3D object modelling which can immediately be 3D printed. As stated on the manufacturer’s website, Meta 1 is a natural interface between the physical world and holographic objects, which merge through 3D stereoscopic display in real size, depth and parallax.
The first prototype for developers was Meta 0.1. Meta 1 is its refined version.Taken from Meta’s Kickstarter campaign:
After two years in the lab working on software and hardware, we reached the stage of a live prototype. Just two months later we’d built the first 3D occlusion algorithms to mesh the real and virtual world together in real time. We now have a team of engineers ready to complete surface detection and finish our SDK, and our hardware partners are waiting to produce and integrate the components.
Meta 1 has a 960x640 3D see-through display (qHD), 35 degree FOV Expander Lense, and 23 degree FOV Shade Lens. There are two embedded cameras, a 320x240 (QVGA) 3D depth-perception camera for accurate gesture detection and a 1280x720 (MJPEG) Color (RGB) Camera for capturing video and stills. Head tracking is 360 degrees, with 9-axis Inertial Measurement Unit with accelerometer, gyroscope and compass. Audio includes Dolby 3D sound and two built-in electric microphones. As a developer’s kit, Meta 1 is connected to PC via USB at all times, while Meta Pro is planned to be a more consumer-friendly standalone device.
Business sector: architecture, product engineering, interior design, industrial design. Consumers: entertainment, gaming, video applications.
Company & People
Meta is a startup company founded by Meron Gribetz, who was in an elite technological unit in the Israel Defense Forces, after which he studied computer science and neuroscience at Columbia University. The company is located at Portola Valley, California. It has 65 employees, most of whom also live on the company’s estate.
Meta Founders and Advisors: Meron Gribetz, CEO; Ben Sand, COO; Raymond Lo, CTO; Prof. Steve Mann, Chief Scientist; Prof. Steven Feiner, Lead Advisor; Jayse Hansen, Creative Director.
- Available for pre-order since September 2013.
- Shipping announced for December 2013, but postponed to March 2014.
- Since June 2014, Meta is shipping Meta 1 Developer Kit for hardware and app developers.
Public & Media Impact and Presentation
Meta 1 is very often described as making the Iron Man or Minority Report interface a reality. Given that the device is still in its prototype phase and available only for hardware and app developers, there is still no public opinion formed by the consumers. However, the device and its potentials are praised in the reviews. The competence of Meta team and the feasibility of the project is additionally backed up with the fact that Professor Steve Mann, known as the father of wearable computers, is their Chief Scientist and Professor Steven Feiner, a pioneer in augmented reality, is their Lead Advisor.
Related Technologies, Project or Scientific Research
- SimX - Augmented Reality Medical Training Software
- Holograam Company - The Leia Project
- Mixed Dimensions
- SoftKinetic - DepthSense 325 camera
- BUCKLEY, Sean. Meta's augmented reality glasses are almost ready for developers. Engadget [online]. 2014, May 30. Available online at: http://www.engadget.com/2014/05/30/meta-ar-shipping-soon/ (Retrieved Jul 28, 2015)
- Shows if the device is a standalone wearable computer or if it needs to be connected to a processing unit to function.
- HORSEY, Julian. Meta And Epson Create Wearable Augmented Reality Glasses With 3D Hand Tracking Support. Geeky Gadgets [online]. 2013, Jan 28. Available online at: http://www.geeky-gadgets.com/meta-and-epson-create-wearable-augmented-reality-glasses-with-3d-hand-tracking-support-video-28-01-2013/ (Retrieved Jul 28, 2015)
- PILTCH, Avram. I Am Iron Man: My Time with the Meta 1 AR Glasses. Tom's Guide [online]. 2014, Sep 18. Available online at: http://www.tomsguide.com/us/meta-glasses-hands-on,news-19570.html (Retrieved Jul 28, 2015)
- Meta. Meta Company [online]. Available online at: https://www.getameta.com/ (Retrieved Jul 28, 2015)
- meta: The Most Advanced Augmented Reality Glasses. Kickstarter [online]. Available online at: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/551975293/meta-the-most-advanced-augmented-reality-interface (Retrieved Jul 28, 2015)
- ZALEN, Matt. Cancelled my Meta Spaceglasses Pre-Order. The Uncommon Programmer [online]. 2013, Dec 18. Available online at: http://uncommonprogrammer.blogspot.cz/2013/12/cancelled-my-meta-spaceglasses-pre-order.html (Retrieved Jul 28, 2015)
- KUMPARAK, Greg. Meta, The Crazy AR Glasses That Aim To Do What Google Glass Can’t, Go Up For Pre-Order. TechCrunch [online]. 2013, Aug 9. Available online at: http://techcrunch.com/2013/08/09/meta-the-ar-glasses-that-aim-to-be-what-google-glass-is-not-go-up-for-pre-order/ (Retrieved Jul 28, 2015)
- LEVY, Karyne. Hands On With Meta's Amazing 3-D Glasses, Which Are Poised To Take The World By Storm. Business Insider [online]. 2014, Jun 14. Available online at: http://www.businessinsider.com/meta-3-d-glasses-2014-6 (Retrieved Jul 28, 2015)
- TEMPLETON, Graham. Augmented reality startup hires Steve Mann, world starts paying attention. Extreme Tech [online]. 2013, May 24. Available online at: http://www.extremetech.com/computing/156669-augmented-reality-startup-hires-steve-mann-world-starts-paying-attention (Retrieved Jul 28, 2015)
- Prof. Steve Mann. Computer Engineering Research Group, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Toronto [online]. Available online at: http://www.eecg.toronto.edu/~mann/ (Retrieved Jul 28, 2015)
- Steven K. Feiner. Department of Computer Science, Columbia University [online]. Available online at: http://www.cs.columbia.edu/~feiner/ (Retrieved Jul 28, 2015)