The field of augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR) is currently constrained to smartphone apps that you to scan real life objects to bring up further information and 3D renderings. In terms of head-mounted displays (HMDs) there is the Microsoft HoloLens which can be pre-ordered for $3000 USD for the developers kit and not much else. Now Meta an AR headset manufacturer has launched the Meta 2 development kit, for studios wishing to create AR experiences.
Introduced this week, the Meta 2 is a tethered AR headset offering a 90-degree field of view (FoV) and 2560 x 1440 high-dpi display. Other features include a 4 speaker near-ear audio system, sensor array for hand interactions and positional tracking, 6-axis inertial measurement unit, 720p front-facing camera and a 9 foot cable for video, data, power (HDMI Version 1.4b) as well as relevant software.
CEO Meron Gribetz gave a preview at the recent TED conference, describing the company’s approach: “We 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, our natural hand motion doesn’t rely on clicks or buttons, thereby maintaining the flow and connecting people to each other and the moment.”
Meta has been working closely with developers like TWNKLS, a Netherlands-based AR agency to create applications. Robin Kallau, Senior Developer at TWNKLS said: “Meta 2 is the first of the next wave of wearables and delivers capabilities that competing products have yet to offer. Meta gives us an edge by letting us build valuable experiences that we bring to our client engagements. Whether it’s training people how to assemble a jet engine faultlessly or showing where a fracture lies directly over a broken leg, the possibilities are endless.“
Meta 2 allows user to grab, touch, and move digital objects, so content creators can build apps that can be used across various industries including medicine, education and manufacturing.
The Meta 2 development kit can be pre-ordered now for $949 USD, considerably less than the HoloLens entry point. Pre-order shipping then begins in Q3 2016.
VRFocus will continue its coverage of Meta 2, reporting back with any new updates.