Meta Starts Taking Orders for New Augmented Reality Development Kit
Just two days after Microsoft announced that it was taking pre-orders for its HoloLens augmented reality headset, augmented reality (AR) startup Meta said it was also taking orders for the $949 development kit for its Meta 2 headset, expected to ship sometime during the third quarter this year. Like the HoloLens, Meta seems to be primarily targeting enterprise applications for the platform.
“For the developers and creators, makers and artists who want to change the world, the Meta 2 Development Kit offers the widest field of view, the most intuitive access to digital information and direct hand interaction with holograms,” the company wrote on its Web site announcing the new model.
Manipulating Holograms with Your Hands
Among the advantages Meta is promoting with the new system is its 90-degree field of view, considerably wider than other AR systems coming to market. It also features a 2560 x 1440 high-dpi display. Meanwhile, its see-through headset makes everything below the users’ eyebrows completely transparent and unobstructed, allowing them to make eye contact with real-world coworkers.
But the company said the real benefit of its Meta 2 development kit is its support for direct hand manipulation, allowing users to grab, touch, and move digital objects just as they would in the real world, rather than having to rely on a specialized interface system. That development appears to bring AR technology a big step closer to the kind of holographic interfaces imagined in movies like “Minority Report” and “Iron Man."
“It’s the most intuitive way to access digital content and fundamentally changes the way people collaborate, communicate, and engage with information and each other,” the company said in a post on its corporate blog. “Using natural hand motions means people don’t have to rely on clicks or buttons to manipulate holograms.”
Meta said the platform’s operating system has been designed to work far more intuitively than any other on the market. “While allowing people to use the traditional means of interacting with technology through keyboards and other devices, Meta 2 enables people to easily access, manipulate, and share digital information in ways that are natural and enhance productivity and collaboration,” the company said in a statement.
E-Commerce You Can Touch
The company said it has already starting working with a number of companies to develop enterprise applications for the platform in a variety of industries, including medicine, education, and manufacturing.
Among the applications Meta foresees for the platform are 3D modeling, enabling users to create, interact with, and share actual 3D models, versus two-dimensional images of 3D models on computer screens.
The company said it also sees Web browsing as a major potential area for the Meta 2, since consumers could use the platform to grab and manipulate products on a Web page. Finally, the company said remote collaboration will be another key use case for AR.
Image Credit: Meta 2 Development Kit headset via Meta.
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