“Demo or die.” That’s the unofficial motto of Meta and it’s a bedrock principle espoused by Raymond Lo, the company’s CTO. Lo spent a decade under the tutelage of Professor Steve Mann (known to many as the father of wearable computing), and is one of the few to make it through Mann’s Ph.D. program at the University of Toronto. As an instructor, Mann requires tangible results on a regular basis from his students’ projects, and now, with Lo as CTO and Mann as chief scientist, Meta’s operating with the same ethos as it develops
augmented mediated reality headsets. Meta’s idea is to meld the real and the digital together in a fully functional computing environment. It wants to augment your reality, and, in fact, mediate it.
We saw a prototype mediated reality headset from Meta a couple months ago, where we witnessed some rudimentary demos: typing in thin air and grabbing and moving digital objects with our hands. Naturally, the company’s made some improvements in the interim. The latest prototype hardware has morphed into a slightly more integrated design, but it still has the boxy and rough appearance of a 3D -printed prototype. Which, of course, it is. The Kinect-stuck-atop-a-pair-of-Rec Specs look is only temporary however, as Meta is finally ready to start taking orders for its first production headset, the Meta.01. You can pre-order one for $ 667.00 on Meta’s website, with deliveries set to begin in November. As opposed to the prototype you see in the image above, renders of the commercial device look like a cross between ski goggles and a pair of Oakleys. The magic of Meta doesn’t lie in its looks, however.
Filed under: Wearables