Meta is working hard on a project, which aims to not just augment reality but mediate it. The company’s CTO, Raymond Lo and chief scientist Steve Mann are aiming to meld together reality and all things digital in a fully functional computing device.
A couple of months ago, Meta showcased a prototype of a mediated reality headset. There were displays of typing in thin air and digital objects being grabbed and moved. Since then the company has made some improvements to the protype and the next step is work on the appearance of the technology.
So what is the differecnce between augmented and mediated reality? Well augmented reality adds things to your field of view, while mediated reality can add what you want to see and remove what you don’t. Steve Mann’s custom built Eye-Tap headsets already mediates reality and he joined Meta in order to share the technology with others.
The demos for the glasses show how it is possible to have 3D virtual chess matches and sculpt a vase in thin air before printing it in 3D. Users will be able to interact with both digital and real-world objects seamlessly and intuitively. Meta want to deliver on all the functionality that has been promised, making sure they don’t fail to deliver like so many other pieces of vaporware.
Meta wants to achieve more than say Google Glass, which although serves a different functional goal, uses far less powerful hardware than what is in Meta’s binocular headset. CEO of Meta, Meron Gribetz says that as well as limiting functionality, Google Glass is more of a glorified “notification machine”. In contrast Meta allows users to see 3D digital objects that are projected in real space and interact with them.
“Google’s gig is building an extension of a smartphone that acts as a notification machine. My gig is building a machine that will enable users to create,” Gribetz said.
Meta is ready to start taking orders for its first production headset, the Meta.01. It is available from the Meta website for pre-order at a cost of $667.00 with expected delivery dates starting from November.
[Image via Techcrunch]